San Francisco’s ‘Oldest Family-Owned Restaurant’ Closes After 90 Years in Business


Alioto's restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, CA

Alioto’s restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA

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The web page for Alioto’s, the legendary seafood restaurant in San Francisco, seems like it hasn’t been updated due to the fact the earliest days of the pandemic. “Sorry, we are shut,” the home web page reads. “In light of the latest functions, we will be closed until additional see. Keep harmless and healthful.” But in accordance to reps from the Port of San Francisco, that complete “shut right until additional detect” now usually means that the cafe is shut for great.

In accordance to the San Francisco Small business Occasions, the restaurant was shuttered in March 2020, and in no way reopened. For the duration of that time, it under no circumstances compensated hire on that area, or on its “help warehouse,” and its proprietors have due to the fact decided to end its 66-year-lease with the Port of San Francisco a tiny above 14 decades early. (Don’t do the math in your head: Alioto’s signed the lease in 1970.) It is also ending its lease on its warehouse.

“We fully grasp and respect their small business decision to end the lease,” Randy Quezada, a spokesperson for the Port of San Francisco, claimed in a assertion quoted by the outlet. “The reduction of Alioto’s—a renowned Fisherman’s Wharf icon—is heartbreaking for the Port and the generations of San Franciscans and vacationers that have appreciated the Alioto’s dining practical experience. Their contribution to the Port and the metropolis will not soon be neglected.”

Alioto’s was founded by Nunzio Alioto, a Sicilian immigrant, in 1925, and it commenced its lengthy lifespan as a stall promoting clean fish at Fisherman’s Wharf. By the early 1930s, he experienced combined that fish stall with a bar that bought clean crab and shrimp, and it was housed in what the restaurant states was the first constructing at the Wharf.

Nunzio Alioto died in 1933, but his widow, Rose, and their young children took in excess of exactly where he still left off. Rose added a kitchen area to the current seafood bar, and opened the initial iteration of Alioto’s Restaurant in 1938. (Alioto’s web page credits Rose with developing cioppino, the hearty Italian fish stew, but Erica Peters, the creator of San Francisco: A Meals Biography, has beforehand said that a recipe for cioppino was bundled in The Refugees’ Cookbook, which was published in 1906.)

But Alioto’s, which was currently being operate by the fourth generation of the Alioto family members, has been a area landmark for 90 decades, and was thought of to be San Francisco’s oldest loved ones-owned cafe. The San Francisco Enterprise Occasions mentioned that it was “unclear” whether the household would reopen the restaurant at an additional locale in the metropolis in the long term. Irrespective, the restaurant will are living on in San Francisco food heritage, and in the recollections of each San Francisco citizens and people to the metropolis alike.


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