The Slanted Door has been one of those landmark SF businesses whose lengthy pandemic closure led to rumors about its possible demise. But chef-owner Charles Phan earlier reassured everyone that there was just an extended remodel happening and the place would eventually reopen.
Now we learn that the Ferry Building restaurant's 20-month closure is going to extend to about 27 months when all is said and done, and there's a whole reimagining of the space happening with the help of original architect Olle Lundberg.
The SF Business Times confirms with Ferry Building/Port of SF officials that Phan has already signed a new 10-year lease extension for the Slanted Door space, which will take it out to 2034. And Phan tells the paper that while renovations are significant, the plan now is to make it back open by Summer 2022.
This all may prove wise of Phan, assuming that he's gotten some kind of rent break from the Port — with so much of The Slanted Door's clientele based on tourists, conferences, and downtown workers on expense-account lunches, there's a good chance the dining room wouldn't be so full these days, even though much of the city's restaurant scene has come roaring back to life.
Anxiety over The Slanted Door's future kicked up this past spring, when Phan announced the permanent closure of his Out the Door outpost in Pacific Heights — and the listing of the upstairs loft that he had inhabited as well.
Still, Phan assured the public, via the Chronicle, that The Slanted Door's closure was only temporary, saying, ""It’s kind of exciting. It’s hard to shut down a super busy restaurant. The silver lining [of the pandemic] is we have time to work on the renovation."
He adds, speaking this week to the Business Times, that a renovation plan and menu revamp were in the works before the pandemic began. "You're always a little nervous when you change something, like getting a new haircut, a new look," he said, but he thinks the restaurant's ongoing success has come "in constantly evolving and innovating."
Also, Phan and his team have been busy elsewhere, operating the still new-ish Slanted Door location at San Ramon's City Center Bishop Ranch, which reopened in May after its initial opening in 2019. And he's getting ready to open another location in downtown Napa next spring, at 1650 Soscol Avenue. The Napa Slanted Door may open right around the time that the San Francisco flagship reopens, in late spring.
The reopening of Slanted Door means 250 restaurant jobs coming back in downtown, and the return of some more of the bustle at the Ferry Building itself — which also saw the pre-pandemic closure of MarketBar, as well as the closure of longstanding tenant Cowgirl Creamery earlier this year.
Things are turning around, however, and just last week we learned that Oakland's Cholita Linda had come to replace Mijita, Traci Des Jardins' taqueria concept that also shuttered pre-pandemic.
Phan says that with The Slanted Door's return, the Out the Door takeout counter will reopen at the Ferry Building next year as well.
Photo courtesy of Slanted Door/Facebook