One of San Francisco's best pizza spots, Little Star on Divisadero, is shutting its doors at the end of the year. And the owner blames delivery apps.
Little Star Pizza, which has been making excellent, cornmeal-crusted, deep-dish pizzas at 846 Divisadero since 2004, is closing for good next month. And even though the Valencia Street location will remain open, this is a tragedy for pizza-loving San Franciscans and everyone in the NoPa/Western Addition neighborhood who made regular visits there.
Owner Brian Sadigursky posted the news to Instagram on Sunday, which was the 19th anniversary of the original Little Star location.
"With a heavy heart on this anniversary day, we announce that LS Divisadero will be closing at the end of this year," Sadigursky wrote. "It has been a marvelous run, and an honor to have been a part of the Western Addition/Nopa/Alamo Square neighborhood. A tremendous thanks to all the lovely people that have passed through our doors and supported us!"
While the post does not give a reason for the closure, the Chronicle notes that Sadigursky has for a couple years now been railing against the "parasitic" nature of third-party delivery apps. In June, the Little Star Divis Instagram account posted a Washington Post breakdown showing how, when a customer spends $28 on a delivery order through an app, the restaurant is likely only getting $10 to $14 of that cash.
"As a consumer, if you value locally owned businesses, order directly from them and don’t allow DoorDash, UberEats, or Google to skim off them with their commissions," the post said. "These companies will inevitably put a lot of small restaurants out of business."
While they were at one point connected businesses, Little Star Divisadero is under different ownership from the Valencia location, the Albany location, and the affiliated locations of The Star in Oakland and Portland. John Guhl owns the Valencia location and the others, and he and Sadigursky parted ways as business partners in 2013.
If you can believe it, there was a time when there wasn't a ton of great pizza in San Francisco, and Little Star was, along with Paxti's, among the first to bring Chicago-style pies to the city.
And Little Star Divisadero was among the last of the city's pizza restaurants to sign on to app delivery — a few years ago, if you wanted Little Star on an app, it only came from the Valencia location, and the Divis location still made you call in by phone for pickup only.
For families with kids in the NoPa/Western Addition 'hood, this means the loss of one of the few businesses where eating out with kids was common and easy.
Meanwhile, many restaurateurs around the city have decried what's been a terrible year for them, business-wise — either because fewer people are eating out after the pandemic, or because of other factors impacting the industry like depressed tourism, and less foot traffic and fewer business dinners downtown.
For fans of Little Star, you may as well pay a goodbye visit to the Divisadero location in the next six weeks. Order the Brass Monkey (unless you're vegetarian).