After financial woes forced the closure of beloved, 41-year-old, family-run SoMa Mexican restaurant Don Ramon's in March, we thought that was probably it. But surprise! The Ramirez family apparently has a deal to move into a new space at Four Embarcadero Center.
Don Ramon's was the subject of a slew of public lamentations both when it looked like it might close in September 2020, and then when it actually did at the end of March 2023. A mainstay among SF politicos as well as the gay and leather communities, Don Ramon's was always a charming throwback, a margaritas-by-the-pitcher, combination-platter-type Mexican-American joint that did a few things exceptionally well — like their signature Chili Colorado, which SFist has written about plenty, and the name of which refers to being "colored red," not the state of Colorado.
Now, following an announcement Tuesday morning by Supervisor Aaron Peskin at a Chamber of Commerce of breakfast, we know that Don Ramon's is going to be be reborn downtown, at Embarcadero Center. The SF Business Times broke the news, noting that one of the sisters who co-owns the restaurant, Leonila Ramirez, told the paper back in April that they were aiming to reopen in a new, undisclosed location "in two months."
The former Landmark Embarcadero Cinema space remains empty on the Promenade Level at Embarcadero 1. And there's a restaurant at 2 Embarcadero Center, on the Promenade Level, that at one time was occupied by a Chevy's, which closed in 2009, and lately has been a sports bar called Patriot House. The only other restaurant spaces in the complex are either smaller, street-level spaces, or the three that face the water at Embarcadero 4: Osha Thai, Harborview, and Sens. (See below for update on the location.)
BXP, the real estate firm formerly known as Boston Properties, owns Embarcadero Center. And as the Business Times reports, BXP has been tight-lipped about new tenants that it is lining up for the ailing, very vacant mall complex at the base of the towers. They would only say that there are "some exciting new additions" coming down the pike.
Don Ramon's originally opened in 1982 at 225 11th Street, and it was owned and run by Ramon and Guadalupe Ramirez, with Guadalupe serving as chef. Their three daughters, Leonila, Lucy, and Nati, along with granddaughter Nathalee, continued to run the place until March.
Speaking of their father when the restaurant closed, the sisters said, "Ramon had a vision of opening a sit-down Mexican restaurant and working alongside his family. We have kept the family’s legacy strong by serving the same recipes and providing excellent customer service."
Stay tune for updates about Don Ramon's exact new location and reopening date.
Update: The Chronicle has learned that the space in question is the former Rubio's on the ground floor of Embarcadero Four, which was at the corner of Drumm and Clay streets, and which has outdoor patio seating facing the cobblestoned part of Clay Street and Sue Bierman Park. The Ramirezes are aiming for a fall opening.