The Fish Market is leaving the Bay Area

A seafood restaurant chain that started in Santa Clara County is now leaving the Bay Area.

The Fish Market opened its first restaurant, oyster bar and market, in 1976 in Palo Alto. 

It grew to eight restaurants in California and one in Arizona.

It shut down the Santa Clara and San Jose locations during the pandemic.

Now the owners are closing the Palo Alto and San Mateo locations, along with their South San Francisco fishery, in September.

Executives call it a difficult decision, blaming it on the economy and the real estate market.

On social media, loyal customers lamented the loss – and recounted their favorite dishes.

Alan Percival said he loved the garlic prawns with French bread. Donna Daniel Betts loved the martinis.

"This is sad," Elsa Pinedo wrote on Facebook. "My husband and I love it there." 

There will be two fish market restaurants left -- both in San Diego County.