By Allen Payton
The oldest restaurant in California and west of the Mississippi, and the third oldest in the nation, Tadich Grill, first opened in San Francisco in 1849, the year of the Gold Rush. It was continuously run until forced to temporarily close, earlier this year due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. But the good news is according to owner and Alamo resident Mike Buich, the iconic eatery will be reopening on Monday, November 9.
That’s due to San Francisco being designated to be in the state’s health equity metric yellow, Minimal Tier 4 for community transmission of the virus, the least restrictive tier, as of October 20, according to the City and County of San Francisco Public Health Officer order.
“After seven months of forced closures, we are thrilled to be reopening our doors on Monday, November 9th,” Buich said. “While the pandemic has been devastating and challenging on many levels – for our customers, our employees, our business and our industry at large – we are excited to reconnect with our loyal following and help restore some life into downtown San Francisco.”
Located, rather appropriately on California Street, the restaurant is widely known as San Francisco’s best seafood restaurant, with a broad selection of non-seafood offerings, such as steaks, soups (clam chowder, of course) and salads, as well. Their specialties include cioppino, monza, thermidor and branzino and fish entrees include salmon, petrale sole, sand dabs, halibut, swordfish and Chilean sea bass.
The historic restaurant, which features both table dining and a long bar counter, will be open Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Saturdays 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Sundays for private parties only, and will now offer reservations.
“We’ve taken the downtime to explore and launch reservations for the first time in 171 years, as well as adopt other safety precautions to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of all those who visit us at 240 California St.,” Buich shared about the restaurant that’s been in his family since 1928.
Mike and his daughter, Melissa, the restaurant’s CFO, refused to layoff any of their 35 employees for several months, according to a KTVU Fox2 interview they gave earlier this year. That was due to “the support from the Tadich community,” using a GoFundMe page to make up the lost wages, and through a loan from the PPP program, according to Melissa Buich.
However, in a July post on the restaurant’s Instagram page, the owners wrote, “It’s been over four months since we were first ordered to close our doors due to COVID-19. Since that time, we have been immensely grateful for the response of our loyal customers who have ordered takeout and nationwide delivery, purchased gift cards and merchandise online and donated through our Go Fund Me page to help us ride the wave as we chased the date for re-opening.”
“As you’re aware, that date continued to change and today we have no visibility into when that day will come. In parallel, the temporary relief from our PPP loan has dried up and without additional government aid, we’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily hit pause. Following the close of business this Friday, July 31st, we will temporarily suspend operations until we are able to re-open for indoor dining.”
Tadich’s owners committed to reopen once indoor dining was allowed.
“When that time finally comes, we will be eager to serve you your long-time favorites in a dining room optimized for your health and safety,” the owners posted. “We deeply appreciate your loyalty and support. Because of you, we have been able (to) navigate these unprecedented times until now, and because of you, we will come back stronger than ever to continue our 171 year run.”
That time has finally arrived.
“We are sincerely appreciative of our customers who have supported us throughout this long journey and can’t wait to welcome each of you back with socially-distanced, open arms, a classic cocktail and a hearty meal,” said Mike Buich. “Though reduced capacity and a more selective menu may be new to all of us, we are committed to the same gold-standard quality and great time we’ve been providing for generations.”
To make your reservations via Tock for lunch or dinner at Tadich Grill click, here. To learn more about the restaurant, it’s food, staff and history, visit tadichgrillsf.com or once they’ve reopened, call (415) 391-1849.