Resilience may be the key phrase for the Bay Area's restaurant scene. While new restaurants keep opening, more and more local favorites are shutting their doors. Here is a list of some notable, historic restaurant closures.
Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto (1890-2018)
1919 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710
Berkeley's oldest restaurant started as a clam stand in the 1890s. Since 1930 a full service restaurant on the ground floor of the original building served up cocktails, oysters or full seafood dinners for 128 years. The restaurant abruptly closed in October 2018.
Mexicali Rose (1927-2018)
701 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607
Oakland's oldest Mexican restaurant closed after 91 years of serving up its famous burritos, tacos and menudo soup. The restaurant's owner said she is ready to retire and spend more time with her family and take care of her sick mother.
La Borinqueña, a Mexicatessen (1944-2015)
582 7th St Oakland, CA 94607
This tamale and tortilla operation, serving "authentic Mexican American food made with love and lard", was one of the oldest family-fun businesses in Oakland. After 71 years, the Ramos family wanted to retire form the restaurant business.
La Victoria Mexican Bakery & Café (1951-2018)
2937 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
After nearly 70 years of serving up treats like pan dulce and conchas, this historic Mission district bakery closed. Family disagreements were the bakery's undoing.
Brennan's Restaurant (1959-2018)
700 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710
For 60 years, this no-frills watering hole and hofbrau was a great place to watch a game and get a hearty, hot plate of food. The three generation, family run business closed citing a looming 25 percent rent increase, climate change, and a declining party atmosphere at the bar.
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The Oasis Beer Garden "The O" (1958-2018)
5236, 241 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
A perennial Peninsula favorite decorated with Stanford University memorabilia closed after 60 years. The O drew a cross section of local customers including the legendary group of Silicon Valley hobbyists that included Apple's Steve Wozniak. The restaurant's Facebook page blames the closure on failed lease negotiations with the building's landlord.
Capp's Corner (1963-2015)
1600 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133
An institution in the North Beach dining and drinking scene, diners passed around family-style Italian classics for 52 years. The owners said a contractual snag with their landlord, involving insurance liability, forced them to close their doors April 2015.
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Harry's Hofbrau (1977-2019)
390 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129
This staple, old-school cafeteria in the South Bay serving up heaping plates of meat and potatoes for 42 years closed after losing their lease. The City of San Jose has begun plans for re-development in the area. Good news, the Redwood City and San Leandro locations remain open.
1345 Railroad Ave, Saint Helena, CA 94574
This iconic, Michelin stared restaurant served up locals and visitors alike a skillfully executed menu with influences from California, Japan, and Europe. After 30 years Terra closed its doors largely due to staffing shortages related to high housing prices.
5 Main St, Tiburon, CA 94920
This destination, waterfront Mexican hangout served up food and amazing views of the San Francisco Bay for 30 years. While in recent years Guaymas had not been known for the quality of its food, the loss of this a pre- or post-ferry destination will be likely be felt by those wishing for a waterside margarita.
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LIST: Historic Bay Area Restaurant closures