The authentic French bistro Curbside Café quietly closed last week after 34 years at California and Fillmore Streets, saying simply that they were “not able to renew” their lease.
When we named the Pacific Heights bistro Curbside Café one of the 10 best unsung bistros in San Francisco a few years back, we noted some backstory that was almost too good to be true. The café’s owner Olivier Perrier started as a server there in the year 2000, met a customer of whom he was fond, and married her. Gwyneth and Olivier Perrier would then take over ownership of Curbside Café in 2010, and have run it since.
That is, until last week. The Chronicle reports that Curbside Café has closed permanently, with the closure having happened sometime last week.
“It is with sadness that we finally close the doors of Curbside Café,” the bistro's owners said in a Facebook post from last Friday morning. “The lease has ended and we are personally not able to renew it. You, our customers, have been loyal and we have loved having you as part of our neighborhood family. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve you for all of these years.”
While Curbside Café did serve famed French fare like French onion soup, escargot, and crème brûlée, the menu was rounded out by what they called “eclectic comfort food with a French twist,” and brunch dishes including crab Benedict, a crab omelette, and avocado Benedict.
SFGate has some additional historical detail that then-owner Lee Burns opened the original “Curb Side Cafe” at the same location in 1978, though it only lasted a year, and would become a sandwich shop called Eichelbaum & Co. It became the French restaurant Curbside Café in 1989 under the ownership of Antoine Alliaume, who sold it to the Perriers in 2010. According to the neighborhood publication the New Fillmore, “"the location at 2417 California has housed a restaurant since the 1906 earthquake.”
Image: Curbside Café via Facebook