San francisco restaurants

These are the restaurants in San Francisco that closed permanently in January

Bay Area restaurants endured another tough month in January with both indoor and outdoor restaurants closing – but then, on Jan. 25, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the stay-at-home order. California home. Many Bay Area restaurants immediately reopened for outdoor dining.

“It’s exciting because we’ve had to reduce the hours of our struggling staff, and they’re all queer people of color, and so [being closed] has been depressing and difficult for us [and] it means lower sales,” Sean Sullivan, co-owner of the Port Bar in Oakland, told SFGATE.

On the other hand, not everyone jumped at the chance to reopen: Yuka Ioroi, owner of Cassava in San Francisco, doesn’t even plan to reopen for takeout until Feb. 8. She shared her concerns about the new COVID-19 variant that was found in California.

Others, however, haven’t had a chance to dust off their parklets and welcome outdoor diners back, like Sacramento’s 50-year-old Casa Garden or Takara, a 20-year-old restaurant in Japantown, which closed this month. Here are some of the restaurants that closed permanently in January:

Casa Garden Restaurant

This nearly 50-year-old Sacramento restaurant was best known for its grand banquets and charities. In nearly five decades of operation, Casa Garden has helped raise more than $3 million for the Los Niños Service League, part of the Sacramento Children’s Home organization. Operational difficulties caused by the pandemic led to the closure. Read more.


In late January, chocolate maker Godiva announced it would close all of its North American stores, including seven locations in the Bay Area. The company cited the decrease in in-person shopping as a result of the pandemic. However, their chocolate will continue to be sold online and in grocery stores, as well as other retailers. Read more.

Ramen Underground and Udon Underground

This pair of popular downtown San Francisco Japanese restaurants, both owned by chef Ken Matsumara, closed permanently this month. Ramen Underground and Udon Underground, which were located side by side on Kearny Street, were known for their fast service and warm, no-frills atmosphere. Read more.


Takara, a 20-year-old restaurant in Japantown known for its homemade Japanese dishes, closed permanently in late January. The restaurant was one of several Japan Center tenants struggling with their landlord over a rent dispute, which played a role in the closure. However, Lena Turner, 91-year-old owner of Takara, is not yet retiring from the food business – she recently bought Kiss Seafood nearby, where she will soon bring back some of Takara’s menu favourites. Read more.

Los Guisados ​​Del Patron

The stew-focused spin-off of popular Mission Tacos El Patrón spot soon came to this world – Los Guisados ​​Del Patrón shut down after just five months in business. In an interview with Eater, co-owner Alberto Pineda said, “We were spending a lot more money to be open than closed.”

Mel’s Diner (Concorde)

The Concord location of nostalgic “American Graffiti” themed restaurant chain Mel’s Diner closed this month, according to the East Bay Times. Mel’s story dates back to 1947, although the Concord site only operated for a few years. Other locations in Walnut Creek, San Leandro, Antioch, Pinole, Fairfield and Vacaville remain open.

Cold cuts from Esposto

This historic family-run grocery store in San Mateo has closed due to pandemic losses and a rent hike, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal. Esposto’s delicatessen, in operation since 1956, was known for its pastas, sandwiches and food options.


Located in Oakland’s Chinatown, this restaurant specializing in Liuzhou-style snail rice noodle soup closed permanently in January, as the San Francisco Chronicle first reported.

For permanent restaurant and bar closures during the month of December, click here, or scroll through the slideshow above to see restaurant closures for 2021.