Farallon, the 23-year-old seafood staple near Union Square, has officially closed its doors due to the pandemic — adding its name to the still-growing list of over 370 restaurants in the San Francisco metro area that have shuttered since March.
Farallon was beloved by tourists and locals alike for its ostentatious, over-the-top decor (like the jellyfish light fixtures that hung over the bar) and sustainable, generously portioned seafood dishes. It was a place that was both whimsical and serious — at the very same moment. But even Farallon’s quirky charm and delicious bivalves couldn’t save it from becoming yet another permanently closed business over the coronavirus.
New! Download & print our new poster outlining SF’s mask protocol for diners. We've also created this postcard with a QR code linking to the poster for guests to scan and review the policy while seated. Download them now here: https://t.co/q6ET7lIZO4#ShowUsYourMaskSF pic.twitter.com/J7C7j40B2O— GGRA (@GGRASF) August 6, 2020
Originally reported by SFGate, an email to Farallon employees was sent earlier this week to confirm the writing on the wall: the decades-old local touchstone for indulgent seafood offerings was closing for good.
“It was just not going to make sense given all the ramifications of the pandemic for Farallon to try to reopen either as it was — [like] a fine dining restaurant with a lot of seats — or to try to think about how to pivot the restaurant,” said restaurant partner Pete Sittnick to the Chronicle. Sittnick also noted that Farallon hadn't served a customer since March’s shelter-in-place orders began, and added that a takeout model for the restaurant “wouldn’t do” for a restaurant that had grown synonymous with luxury with over the years.
Alas: Farallon’s grandiose, nautical-inspired interior — which was designed by Pat Kuleto, who also designed the shuttered Jardinière — had been collecting dust and debt for months.
The famed seafood restaurant frequently made the Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurants list, in addition to earning accolades and recognition from Wine Spectator several times in a row. And with Farallon now closed, only three Kuleto-designed restaurants — Boulevard, Epic Steak, and Waterbar — remain open in SF.
Earlier this month, a Yelp report revealed some 5,000 Bay Area business had either temporarily or permanently closed since the pandemic began; the Golden Gate Restaurant Association estimated back in April that 50 percent of San Francisco's restaurants aren't expected to come out of the other side of this pandemic open for business, according to ABC7.
Image: Facebook courtesy of Farallon Restaurant SF, taken in 2016