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Friday, May 3, 2013

Health Check: Are More S.F. Restaurants Grand Opening or Grand Closing?

Posted By on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Shanghai on Market didn't make it through 2012.
  • Shanghai on Market didn't make it through 2012.

The San Francisco restaurant scene is constantly plagued with closures. Since the beginning of the year, we've lost solid places such as Masa's, Tommy Toy's, Solstice, Shanghai, Kan Zaman, and Wo Hing General Store. Luckily, S.F. is also blessed with a seemingly endless run of restaurant openings. Have a guess as to which side is winning out?

See also: Padrecito: Mexican Cuisine Gets a Makeover in Cole Valley

Hi-Lo BBQ: San Francisco Gets Its Own Barbecue

Not quite halfway into 2013 and we've seen some very high-profile debuts in the city, including Charles Phan's Hard Water and South projects (a departure from his Asian food at Slanted Door, Heaven's Dog, and the former Wo Hing), Michael Chiarello's Coqueta on the Embarcadero, Mamacita spinoff Padrecito, and the Hog and Rocks affiliate Hi-Lo BBQ.

Restaurants typically do not go out of business with a lot of public notice, but the forecast for new spots is hefty and healthy for the rest of the year. Before the last days of December, we're hoping to be eating at State Bird Provision's sister restaurant The Progress, Box and Bells from James Syhabout (Commis, Hawker Fare), and Magnolia's forthcoming Dogpatch brewery, to name a few. The openings of showpieces such as these as well as new sandwich shops, cafes, and small eateries are outpacing the closures.

However, for every few restaurants that go under here, it seems that there are usually just as many trying to make a sale and get out of the business. And if you watch the Craigslist ads for restaurants for sale consistently, it appears that it's no easy feat to unload a restaurant in San Francisco.

If you take these ready-to-die places into account and the potential closure statistics rise. But the restaurant business is still ultimately thriving in San Francisco in 2013.

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Tamara Palmer

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