UPDATE 12:45 P.M.: A statement from Escape from New York founder Paul Geffner is added below.
Oh, you thought enough places had closed or were closing that the air had cleared? Nope. What is that old maxim again: Death comes in eights? Acting on a reader tip, SF Weekly learned that Escape from New York Pizza will close two of its six locations — 22nd Street and Polk Street — as of this coming weekend. The Haight, FiDi, SoMa, and Castro locations will not be affected.
An employee at 22nd Street confirmed the closures, and when asked for a reason, replied, “It’s San Francisco” with a resigned shrug.
Where else are you going to get an artichoke-and-tomato pizza called an “Elementary My Dear Watsonville”? (Admittedly, Artichoke Basille‘s in Berkeley is pretty great, but it’s all the way over there.)
Sadder still? Escape from N.Y. is officially a Legacy Business, having opened in 1986. That year was also the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, which adorns the chain’s boxes.
The 22nd Street pizzeria, which opened 1o years ago, is especially cool because of the art, which veteran “Escapee” and manager Chewy Marzolo curates. It’s full of skulls, skateboards, and the odd vintage Italian film poster, although not much from the 1984 John Carpenter movie from which the chain took its name.
UPDATE: Escape from New York founder Paul Geffner tweeted the following statement Monday morning:
In a changing restaurant environment, Escape from New York Pizza has decided to close its Polk and Mission stores. We will be consolidating our resources and will focus on our three main stores: Bush, Haight, and Harrison. With the multiple new avenues available to deliver to our customers, we believe we will be better able to service the San Francisco community using these three stores as our base.
Yet more irreplaceable neighborhood character that’s about to be replaced.