These SF restaurants are going to close. The owners don’t know when. | Catch My Job


When Yasmin Points signed a lease for her new pie shop at 300 South Haro in Potrero Hill, she knew her days were numbered.

“At the time we moved into the space in De Haro, we knew there was a deadline because the owner said she was in the process of selling the building,” Points said. “We were hoping that by year two, we would be financially stable enough to find another place and we would move on.”

But that didn’t happen.

Couple a big task like moving an entire restaurant to a new space with the unforgivable hardships brought about by the pandemic – and it seems like an incredibly tall order to achieve. But this is the reality for three restaurants to wait until the last minute in the business center 300 De Haro.

Yasmin Points, owner of My Good Pie, stands outside her restaurant at 300 De Haro in Potrero Hill.

Yasmin Points, owner of My Good Pie, stands outside her restaurant at 300 De Haro in Potrero Hill.

Courtesy of Yasmin Points

Outside of My Good Pie at 300 South Haro.

Outside of My Good Pie at 300 South Haro.

Courtesy of My Good Pie

TK caption.

TK caption.

Courtesy of My Good Pie

Yasmin Points at My Good Pie at 300 South Haro. Her strawberry-matcha bean pie. (Courtesy of My Good Pie)

The building in question was officially purchased by DM Development in 2022, but the company’s CEO, Mark MacDonald, said a deal was first struck back in 2019. During that year, MacDonald said DM Development contacted with all the businesses within the Potrero Hill complex and plans to divide them at that time.

“When we came in and signed that option agreement with the owner, at that time, we had all the dialogue with the existing tenants at the time about doing a new development,” MacDonald told SFGATE. “And we told them the idea was to redevelop it as a multi-family project. But if they wanted to come back, we could talk about making a deal to do that.”

Currently, the complex at 300 South Haro is scheduled to be demolished sometime early next year, but there is no firm date, according to MacDonald. Still, in San Francisco, a city notorious for construction and planning delays, it could take years for a building to be demolished even if current plans are tentatively scheduled for early 2023.

A rendering of the new building to be erected at 300 South Haro in San Francisco.

A rendering of the new building to be erected at 300 South Haro in San Francisco.

Courtesy Perspective

Everyone knows that new affordable housing options are desperately needed in the Bay Area. But when restaurants are housed in the buildings that are to be demolished to make way for those projects, the business owners are left in an empty space.

Once the complex is demolished and construction begins, a 450-unit residential project is underway, with up to three retail spaces available that include spaces for a restaurant, a potential cafe and more. MacDonald also told SFGATE that more than 180 units of affordable housing will be included in the plans. Those units will be priced around $875 per month for an apartment space of just under 300 square feet.

MacDonald added that when a demolition date is decided, the remaining businesses will receive at least 30 days’ notice. Still, while some of the restaurants at 300 De Haro have found their next lily pad to land on, others are still struggling to figure out what’s next.

Just like grandma

Growing up listening to stories about her great grandmother Myrtle inspired Points to start her own pie baking business. Myrtle was a baker and would sell her warm homemade fruit pie to make ends meet in the segregated South, in the city of Statesville, North Carolina.

“Myrtle would wake up every morning and bake a huge basket of pies,” Points described. “She would go out into the town centre, and she would have customers from both sides of town and sell out by 10 or 11 in the morning”

When Points first launched her Myrtle’s Good Pie company in 2018, it quickly gained momentum. With recipes inspired by her mother and great-grandmother, Points remembers the early days when she delivered her homemade goods to customers on her trusty bicycle.

“I would bake cottage pies and cookies from my little apartment in Alameda and I would post on local Facebook groups and people would support it,” she said. “I would ride my bike all over Alameda dropping off pies and cookies.”

Soon after, Points met Naz Sheikh, who became her business partner, and in January 2020, the two moved into their first brick and mortar at 300 South Haro. The new space was previously home to Sally’s, a nearly 40-year-old breakfast establishment that closed permanently.

Myrtle’s Good Pie is also near Torraku Ramen, known for its rich bowls of tonkotsu and donburi plates, and El Sur, which serves Argentinian empanadas. In addition to the restaurants, tenants at 300 De Haro also include Tip Toes Nail Salon and Roadster, a car dealership, among others.

Torracu Ramen at 300 South Haro Street.

Torracu Ramen at 300 South Haro Street.

Yelp / Christopher G

With her new restaurant, Points said she is able to better serve her customers with an expanded menu of hot food items such as halal-grade Korean fried chicken sandwiches and barbecue brisket in a homemade biscuit, just to name a few.

Her popular pies include matcha strawberry bean pie, pear cherry with crumble, purple sweet potato with butter streusel and ooey gooey butter pie, take a look at Christina Tosi’s milk bar pie.

“Imagine pecan pie without the pecans and a little creamier,” Points said. “It has texture because I use oats in the crust and there’s this thick, creamy layer and it’s really enjoyable.”

The name of the business also changed, and became known to local residents as My Good Pie. Points said orders have started pouring in, with customers driving from the East Bay and San Jose just to get a taste of her menu.

But a non-functioning walk-in fridge, which spoiled all its contents, hit Points hard. She said when she returned to work one Monday, she found everything in the walk-in session warm and ultimately ruined. Points said the walk-in came with her rental at 300 South Haro and her calls and emails to the current property manager about the broken equipment went unreturned.

Points said although she has other smaller fridges in the kitchen, she needs that space to store other ingredients. With nowhere to properly store her halal grade meats and other staples, her hot food menu was eventually cut.

“It brings you down, but the dream is to be able to continue to be of service and bring something to the community,” Points said. “I feel like that’s what food is, it’s like the ultimate connector of us as human beings really.”

With the additional demolition deadline, Points said many of her employees, including one of her head bakers, have gone on to find other restaurant jobs. Everything started piling up in front of Points.

“A lot of things weighed on me especially when I made the decision that we were just going to close,” Points said. “People were shocked and saddened. I’m shocked and sad myself, but it’s so hard to do business right now. At least where we are with our circumstances.”

Right now, Points is unsure whether or not My Good Pie will be able to reopen in a new space. She announced that My Good Pie would be shutting down on her company’s Instagram account on September 30, stating that she would be fulfilling occasional online orders until the end.

Owning her own business serving halal food and comforting pies just like her grandmother Myrtle is still her dream, and she is not giving up hope just yet.

“I love connecting with people and serving them and making them feel joy,” Points said. “So I would dream that there is someone out there who knows a space that will allow us to grow and thrive, because in San Francisco, it’s hard to do business.”

Serving the community

What started as a food truck in 2016 primarily serving crowds at the SoMa StrEat Food Park, also known as District 6, Torracu Ramen co-owner Benny Ng said he and his business partners are thrilled to open their restaurant first finally at 300 De Haro the following year.

For the past five years, Ng and his team have served everyone from office workers in the nearby Design District to students attending the California College of the Arts. Ng said the whole neighborhood has become very familiar with Torraku’s hot bowls of tonkotsu ramen made from bone-reduced pork and chicken broth, served with a choice of pork shoulder or belly, topped with bamboo shoots and mushrooms. his head

Although Ng said he and his team plan to stay open at 300 South Haro until the last possible day, finding a new location was no easy task. Torracu found a place, however, and opened his second restaurant at 1449 Lombard St. in June last year. It could soon be the only store.

“It’s kind of a sad moment because this is our first brick and mortar space. We really like the area and we like to serve our community there and it seems that a lot of people also love us to be there,” said Ng. “Our goal is to serve decent ramen with an affordable price and great service. Hopefully we’ll find a place back in Potrero sometime in the coming years. So stay away.”

According to Ng, DM Development offered the option for Torraku Ramen to reopen inside the new housing site whenever construction was completed. But the timetable for when the project is expected to be finished is still unclear. MacDonald told SFGATE that while the desired plan would be to open sometime in 2023, “it will be contingent on when we close our funding for the project.”

Ng said that the restaurant space offered to the Torracu Ramen team was just a shell and that it would be too expensive of a project for them to commit to at this time.

A spread of offerings at Torracu Ramen.

A spread of offerings at Torracu Ramen.

Courtesy of Torraku Ramen

“The developer offered a deal to come back, but looking at the cost of building a restaurant, it is not possible with the amount of money they are offering,” said Ng. “So we keep going and wait until the last minute.”

In the case of My Good Pie, Points said one of its head bakers, Greg Hyba, had recently started working at a new restaurant. But he shared the struggles of the pie shop on NextDoor and continues to come in on his days off to help prepare and bake pies. Orders have started coming in too, since Points shared the news that it is closing indefinitely.

“We’ll probably try to be here until we can figure out where we’re going next,” Points said. “Greg keeps bringing me more pie orders. So I have to keep making these pies if he brings them to me.”

Torracu Ramen, 1449 Lombard St., San Francisco. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-3pm and 5pm-8pm; Friday and Saturday, 5pm-9pm; Torracu Ramen, 300 South Haro Suite 338, San Francisco. Open Monday to Saturday, 11am-3pm and 5pm-8pm Follow My Good Pie on Instagram for more information on how to order.


Source link