While a number of high-profile restaurant closures have been covered in the local media in the last few months, hundreds have disappeared without fanfare — and the numbers are only going to keep growing as months of public health orders limiting their business extend into the fall.
A new report by Yelp covering the second quarter of 2020 finds that 370 restaurants in the San Francisco metro area have permanently closed since March. And while the trend is a national one, San Francisco is second only to New York and Los Angeles among metro areas with the most businesses that are closed, either temporarily or for good. And SF is second only to Honolulu and Las Vegas in the rate of closures per 1,000 businesses — with 7.3 permanently closed per 1,000.
Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurants Association, tells KRON4 that the only thing that will help right now is more bailout money from the federal government.
"Particularly with independent restaurants, you're going to see huge closure rates," Thomas says. "And the longer this goes, and the more that people run out of the payroll protection loan money... we'll be lucky to get to the end of October and be able to make it."
Restaurants are currently allowed to serve outdoors, but the final death knell could come if COVID cases don't subside and indoor dining is still not allowed when winter rains arrive, Thomas says.
Among the high-profile permanent closures in San Francisco that have made the news are Locanda in the Mission, Nopalito's Inner Sunset location, 32-year-old Franchino in North Beach, 83-year-old Louis' diner, ICHI Sushi, Dobbs Ferry, Walzwerk, Popsons on Market, Hakkasan, and It's Tops diner.
Photo: Anastasiia Chepinska