Popular Bay Area restaurants and bars that closed in June

During June, several Bay Area business owners announced the permanent closure of their cherished restaurants and bars after decades of service.

Among the companies that closed was Hayward’s Buffalo Bell Brewery, which closed its doors after nearly four decades. Owner and master brewer Jeff Harris first shared the news of the closure of his Buffalo Bill brewery on Instagram and later told SFGATE that his decision to close was based on a prolonged shutdown during the pandemic. The historic bar for putting pumpkin beer on the map will be remembered back in 1986 when its previous owner, Bill Owens, revamped the polarizing brew and turned it into a seasonal classic.

In San Francisco, Ramon Oropeza Sr, owner of Villa D’Este, has also announced the closure of his beloved Italian restaurant after 44 years. It’s unclear if the pandemic has prompted Oropeza’s decision to close permanently, but in a farewell letter, he told his longtime clients he was looking forward to retirement.

Take a look at some of the restaurants that closed in June below. For a catalog of May closings, see SFGATE’s report.

Buffalo Bell Brewery


Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, credited with modernizing its pumpkin beer, has closed its doors after nearly four decades in Hayward. In a lengthy farewell message, owner Jeff Harris shared the news on Instagram, giving thanks to his loyal customers over the years. In an earlier story, owner and master brewer Jeff Harris told SFGATE that closure was one of the most challenging decisions of his life but he couldn’t avoid it. “For 33 years, I risked everything to achieve success and to keep the Buffalo Bill, but this time it was different,” said Harris. “During the pandemic, we have had to close for half a year. It’s hard to go back to a closure like this for any business, let alone a full-service restaurant and brewhouse.”

After 44 years, the family-run Italian restaurant Villa D’Este on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco is set to close.

Courtesy of Villa D’Este

Villa d’Este

Italian restaurant Villa D’Este permanently closed its doors on June 30 after 44 years. Owner Ramon Oropza Sr. shared the news on his restaurant’s website, where he said he’s looking forward to retirement. Oropeza’s granddaughter, Ashley Oropza, told SFGATE that the decades-old restaurant is expected to be honored this summer. “We will actually be honored during one of the moderators’ meetings at the end of July,” Ashley said. “We have been asked to attend City Hall and my grandfather is being praised there for his work in San Francisco.”

Good Friken Chicken

Good Frikin’ Chicken is quietly closing after 18 years in San Francisco, as first reported by Eater SF. The nearly two-decade-old restaurant focuses on whole and half-roast chicken prepared with thyme, garlic and olive oil or made with sumac peel, lemon, olive oil and garlic. In addition to chicken, the restaurant also serves other favorites from shawarma to mansaf, a traditional Jordanian dish made with pieces of lamb marinated in a yogurt sauce.

Massawa

The only Ethiopian restaurant in North Beach closed late this month after 36 years, the San Francisco Business Times first reported. The Business Times reports that owner Asmerom Ghebrmicael was sued by his landlord, Green Oasis LP, in 2020 over alleged unpaid rent starting in August 2020 and that the case is currently under negotiation for a settlement.

Massawa, at 532 Green Street, San Francisco, is closed.

Massawa, at 532 Green Street, San Francisco, is closed.

Steve D. / yelp

Shen Hua

Xin Hua, a 25-year-old restaurant in Berkeley, closed permanently on June 26 due to operational challenges caused by the pandemic. Owner Edward Chu said in his farewell note, “The past few years have presented challenges that we still face. But even through adversity, I have been encouraged by the resilience of my staff, fellow business owners, and clients.” Xin Hua opened its doors in 1998 and will be serving Northern-style Chinese food, such as spicy fried chicken, over the coming years. It was often the site of graduation dinners and family gatherings for locals.

old bro

The Old Pro, the beloved Palo Alto sports bar, announced its closure on June 19, Mercury News reports. Owner Steve Senchik told The Mercury News that his decision to close came after a drop in large groups – particularly with local tech workers. He added that the broadband relied heavily on workers from Google, Apple and other nearby tech companies to keep it working seven days a week. Old Pro’s bar menu will continue at Sinchek’s other Palo Alto restaurant, Local Union 271, which remains open.



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