Here’s What San Franciscans Have To Say About SF’s Historic Cliff House Reopening

Jamie Ferrell Jamie Ferrell

Here’s What San Franciscans Have To Say About SF’s Historic Cliff House Reopening

The building may host a new restaurant as early as this spring.

The historic Cliff House building was forced to close at the end of December due to the pandemic. After a rumor that it would be turned into a federal office, the SF Board of Supervisors voted to make use of the space immediately. The goal is to introduce a restaurant once again into the iconic seaside building, thus maintaining it as a public space.

We asked your opinions about the reopening of the Cliff House building in an Instagram poll. Here are the responses:

  • “I hope it returns, it’s part of the city’s history!”
  • “Love it! Iconic!”
  • “Good for the city and new business owners. This iconic location is part of SF history.”
  • “I hope the old owners return. If not, I’m just happy that it reopens! Louis’ too!”
  • “Woo! The Cliff House building is an SF staple. The restaurant itself just needed a little help.”
  • “Yes, but only if there are POPOVERS served.”
  • “Hope it’s a vegan restaurant!”
  • “It would make me very happy! I felt it was terrible that it closed.”
  • “Yes, I love that location!”
  • “Thrilled.”
  • “Hoping their menu has better veggie options.”
  • “It feels like elbow room being bought out and turned into another bar. Why buy it to lose the history if you’re just going to do the same thing?”
  • “I think that’s a good idea.”
  • “So overjoyed!! It is an SF staple.”
  • “Not surprised.”
  • “Absolutely thrilled!”


Dan and Mary Hountalas, owners of the original Cliff House restaurant since 1973, were forced to shutter the business on December 31st. They now have until March 31st to empty the building, and will be hosting an online auction for dozens of historical artifacts that once served as decor for the restaurant.


[Image: Keystone View Company, Publisher; Singley, B. L. (Benjamin Lloyd), Photographer; Cliff House (San Francisco, Calif.) via New York Public Library]

Many feared that the iconic building would stand empty for years, but after public pressure on the National Park Service, they agreed to reopen the building temporarily as a restaurant. The new restaurant will not use the Cliff House name, as it was trademarked  by the Hountalases.

Be sure to support the Hountalases in their online auction. After operating the Cliff House restaurant for 47 years, they are heartbroken to leave, but appreciate the community’s support in facilitating the transition.

[Featured Image: Instagram / @andystokesphoto]

Things To Do Top News