Two more historic Fisherman's Wharf seafood restaurants may be biting the dust, as the 88-year-old Fishermen’s Grotto No. 9 and the 77-year-old Tarantino’s have both received eviction notices for unpaid back rent.
There may soon be two more vacancies to fill in the prime real estate, tourist-friendly areas of Fisherman’s Wharf that offers spectacular views of the Bay. The San Francisco Business Times reported Wednesday that both Fishermen’s Grotto No. 9 and Tarantino’s have been served with eviction notices over unpaid back rent. The Port of San Francisco, which is the landlord to properties on that part of the waterfront, served the unlawful detainer notices earlier this week in San Francisco Superior Court.
The Chronicle crunches the numbers on the back rent, and found the two restaurants owe a combined $1.4 million in back rent. But in fairness, it does seem like the port has been trying to work with them. Per the Chron, the court filings are serving eviction to Fisherman’s Grotto for “around $332,642,” while Tarantino’s was served for “around $147,436.” It seems the port is only going after back rent from October 2022 until now.
“We remain open and willing to explore short- and long-term strategies to keep both restaurants open and active,” a port spokesperson told the Chronicle
Both restaurants are currently owned by Chris Henry, who also owns Tommy’s Joynt, and Sausalito’s Barrel House Tavern. Both signed 66-year leases in 1970, well prior to Henry’s taking over.
Tarantino’s has definitely been closed for the whole three-plus years since the pandemic hit. KTVU reports "There is graffiti on the windows and the some boards blocking the front door."
But there seems to be some dispute over whether the Fishermen’s Grotto is still open. The Chronicle reports “Fishermen’s Grotto #9 has been closed since 2020,” while KTVU says “As of Thursday, Fisherman's Grotto, which opened in 1935, was still taking reservations online.” Fishermen’s Grotto’s Yelp reviews show plenty of reviews having come in just this month, but the website listed on its Instagram, and the website shown on its Yelp page are both kaput.
This just adds more vacancy troubles to the Fisherman's Wharf restaurant row. Both Pompei’s Grotto and Lou’s Fish Shack walked away from their leases in July, both having been closed since March 2020. And the nearly 100-year-old Alioto’s closed permanently in April 2022, also having been shuttered since the pandemic hit.
Image: May A. via Yelp