It opened with fanfare, a fancy remodel, and a mosaic threshold that presaged a long life: "Est. 2011." But just over a decade and a pandemic later, Park Tavern looks to have gone dark for good.
The writing was on the wall last month when Park Tavern (1652 Stockton Street) was served an eviction notice — something that, while it could occur during an ongoing negotiation with a landlord, likely doesn't signal that those negotiations are going well. SFist noted at the time that the Tock-based reservation system had seemingly gone offline, though owner Anna Weinberg said in comments to the Chronicle that negotiations with the landlord were ongoing and all was not lost.
Still, that landlord was seeking $460,000 in back rent, and that figure has since ballooned to $522,000 in damages, which includes attorneys' fees, as Eater now reports.
Weinberg couldn't be reached for comment, but the landlord's attorneys confirmed to Eater that the restaurant had been cleared and would soon be put up for lease.
The large and often boisterous restaurant had struggled to come back from the pandemic for reasons not entirely related to it. First, the restaurant was the subject of some conflict between Weinberg and ex-husband and former business partner James Nicholas — Nicholas continues to operate Marlowe, The Cavalier, and Marianne's — as well as another partner. And when Park Tavern suddenly reopened in the spring of 2021, while pandemic restrictions were still lingering, Weinberg said she was not involved in that reopening and was working to get the restaurant closed again for a much-needed renovation.
By July 2021, Weinberg confirmed she had bought out that other partner, and Park Tavern was closed once again — though negotiations with Nicholas over Marlowe still were not done.
Weinberg worked to reopen her two remaining restaurants, Tosca and Leo's Oyster Bar, but Park Tavern remained closed through all of last year and this past spring, finally softly reopening in April/May with limited hours and a new chef.
Weinberg described the renovation process as "kind of like Pandora's box," saying, "We basically rebuilt the building, in a way."
The reopening seems to have been rocky, and multiple one-star Yelp reviews from the past couple months tell a story of a restaurant in free-fall — with an abbreviated menu, odd service, and half-empty nights while nearby restaurants were all packed.
Given the great location on Washington Square Park and recent renovation, a new taker for the restaurant might not be long off. But these things don't ever go too quickly in SF.