Declaring it another victim of the pandemic's aftermath and the economic conditions in the Mission, the owners of Gracias Madre have shut the restaurant down for good.

Opened as a Mexican offshoot of the overtly spiritual Cafe Gratitude, which at one point boasted six locations around the greater Bay Area, Gracias Madre had thrived for a number of years serving vegan versions of Mexican dishes. But it quickly seems to have lost clientele in the last several years, according to manager Joseph Donahue, who has worked there since 2020.

Donahue tells Mission Local today that, pre-COVID, the restaurant made "all kinds of money," though it's not exactly clear whether the decline in business began right then or sometime earlier. Reportedly, the restaurant had 40 employees three years ago but was down to just four, with too few customers to keep the place going.

Blame the unpredictable lifetimes of restaurants or the growing plethora of other plant-based options in the neighborhood and elsewhere in San Francisco.

Owners Matthew and Terces Englehart reportedly told employees in an email, "The economic conditions in the city make it impossible."

The Engleharts had long abandoned San Francisco generally, and while they still seem to operate their Be Love Farm in Vacaville, their Bay Area restaurant empire was all but gone, save this one Gracias Madre. The Engleharts' children had expanded the business with Gracias Madre and Cafe Gratitude locations in the Los Angeles area, and a handful of those remain.

The last Bay Area location of Cafe Gratitude closed in Berkeley in 2015.

Infamously, Cafe Gratitude was investigated by state authorities over illegal tip-sharing practices over a decade ago — servers were instructed to tip out managers, which is not allowed under state law — as well as their practice of encouraging/forcing employees to attend Landmark Forum workshops at their own expense.

The Gracias Madre space at 2211 Mission Street and its liquor license are now up for grabs.

Photo via Yelp