Popular Bay Area restaurants and bars that closed in June

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

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

In San Francisco, Ramon Oropeza Sr., the owner of Villa D’Este, also announced the closure of his cherished Italian restaurant after 44 years. It’s unclear whether the pandemic motivated Oropeza in his decision to permanently close, but in a goodbye message, he told his longtime customers that he was looking forward to retirement.

Take a look at some of the notable June restaurant closures below. For a catalog of May closures, see SFGATE’s roundup.

Buffalo Bill’s Brewery


Buffalo Bill’s Brewery, credited for modernizing pumpkin ale, closed its doors after nearly four decades in Hayward. In a lengthy goodbye message, owner Geoff Harries shared the news on Instagram, where he gave thanks to his devoted customers over the years. In a previous story, owner and master brewer Geoff Harries told SFGATE that the closure was one of the most challenging decisions of his life but one he could not avoid. “For 33 years I’ve risked everything to succeed and to preserve Buffalo Bill’s, but this time was different,” Harries said. “During the pandemic, we were forced to close for half a year. A closure like this is hard to come back from for any business, much less a full-service restaurant and brewpub.”

After 44 years, Villa D’Este, a family-run Italian restaurant located 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 Oropeza Sr. shared the news on his restaurant website, where he said that he was looking forward to retirement. Oropeza’s granddaughter, Ashley Oropeza, told SFGATE that the decades-old restaurant was expected to be honored this summer. “We’re actually going to be recognized during one of the supervisor’s meetings at the end of July,” Ashley said. “We’ve been asked to attend at City Hall and my grandfather’s being commanded there for his business in San Francisco.”

Good Frikin’ Chicken

Goood Frikin’ Chicken quietly closed after 18 years in San Francisco, as first reported by Eater SF. The nearly 2-decade-old restaurant focused on whole and half roasted chicken prepared with za’atar, garlic and olive oil or made with sumac zest, lemon, olive oil and garlic. Beyond chicken, the restaurant also served other favorites from shawarma to mansaf, a traditional Jordanian dish made with lamb chunks marinated in a yogurt sauce.

massawa

North Beach’s only Ethiopian restaurant shuttered late this month after 36 years, as first reported by the San Francisco Business Times. The Business Times reported that owner Asmerom Ghebrmicael was sued by his landlord, Green Oasis LP, in 2020 for alleged unpaid rent beginning in August 2020 and that the case was currently in negotiations for a settlement.

Massawa, at 532 Green St., San Francisco, has closed.

Massawa, at 532 Green St., San Francisco, has closed.

Steph D. / Yelp

Shen Hua

Shen Hua, a 25-year-old restaurant in Berkeley, closed for good on June 26 due to operational challenges brought on by the pandemic. “The last few years have posed challenges that we continue to face,” owner Edward Chu said in his goodbye note. “But even through adversity, I’m encouraged by the resilience of my staff, fellow business owners, and customers.” Shen Hua opened its doors in 1998 and would serve Northern-style Chinese food, like the spicy, dry-fried chicken, for the years to come. It was often the site of dinner graduations and family gatherings to locals.

The Old Pro

The Old Pro, the beloved Palo Alto sports bar, announced its closure on June 19, the Mercury News reported. Owner Steve Sinchek told the Mercury News that his decision to close followed a decline in large groups — particularly with local tech workers. He added that the vast bar had depended greatly on workers from Google, Apple and other nearby tech companies to sustain the business throughout weekdays. The Old Pro bar menu will continue to Sinchek’s other Palo Alto restaurant, Local Union 271, which remains open.



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