Cliff House blasts National Park Service over impending closure
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco's historic Cliff House restaurant is closing for good.
The Cliff House has been offering take-out during the pandemic, but that ended in mid-July. On Sunday, the restaurant announced they will close for good on Dec. 31.
The restaurant says they were unable to agree on a long-term contract with the owner, Golden Gate National Park Service. The National Park Service bought the land from the Cliff House in 1977, and the restaurant leased it back from them. Cliff House released a statement Monday, which read, in part:
"Our 20-year concession contract expired on June 30, 2018; by that time, the National Park Service (NPS) should have selected an operator on a long-term basis to ensure the continued operation of this national treasure. Since then, the NPS has issued us one six-month contract and then two consecutive one-year concession contract extensions rather than proceed in a timely fashion with their responsibility to execute a new long-term contract or lease."
A fourth one-year extension was offered to Cliff House but they ultimately could not accept due to financial reasons. Cliff House said it costs tens of thousands each month to maintain the building and the contract did not include any help from the NPS.
"Unlike the government which is not held accountable for profits and losses we could not accept the additional extension as there is no possibility of doing a sustainable level of business for the foreseeable future," the company said in the statement.
The restaurant is located on Ocean Beach and is well known for its spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
Back in mid-July, Louis Restaurant, located next door to the Cliff House, closed its doors for good after 83 years.
The coronavirus has created turbulence in the city's dining scene. The city had not permitted customers to dine-in for months. Then, restaurants briefly got permission to serve meals to customers seated outdoors.
But the resurgence of the virus' outbreak put the city back on the state's monitoring list and forced the suspension of al fresco dining, indoor shopping and other types of activities.
The Cliff House says 180 employees will be unemployed at the end of the year.