SAN FRANCISCO - The roof-top sign at Cliff House restaurant in San Francisco came down Thursday, marking the iconic restaurant's final day.
Hundreds of onlookers and Cliff House staff gathered as the sign was removed from the Bay Area landmark.
The restaurant was not able to work out an agreement with the National Park Service to continue operations. The couple who has managed the restaurant since 1973 said a 20-year contract with the agency expired in June 2018.
Outside the restaurant Thursday, residents voiced their disapproval for the outcome.
"The Cliff House was one of the iconic institutions of San Francisco and its a real tragedy that the park service just failed to do its job and now all of San Francisco will suffer for years to come," said San Francisco resident Jonathan Alloy.
Since the contract expired, they've been operating on a six month and two one year contracts. But that last one expired on the final day of 2020. And after days of 11th-hour negotiations, there was no workable solution.
The pandemic forced the restaurant to offer take-out food only, but that ended in July because it was losing too much money.
The National Park Service describes the closure as a "temporary suspension of services" and said it intended to "welcome the public back in the future."
"I think the National Park Service, it’s a tragedy the way they’ve handled this venue," said third-generation San Franciscan Linda Allan. "I’m so unhappy I don’t even know how to say the words."