SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The Cliff House Restaurant, which opened 157 years ago, announced on Sunday that the restaurant will close for good on December 31st, a victim of both the COVID-19 pandemic and, like the owners say delays by the National Park Service in obtaining a long-term operating agreement with the restaurant.
The final closure announcement was posted on the restaurant’s website on Sunday by longtime owners of Cliff House, Dan and Mary Hountalas. They said 180 employees would lose their jobs.
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The Cliff House stopped eating in March due to the pandemic. Operators said they tried to work take away only in early June, but after 10 weeks the owners decided to close completely in mid-July. They said the restaurant lost too much money than just take away.
The last long-term contract between the Cliff House and the National Park Service expired in June 2018, and the restaurant has since been operating under a series of short-term contracts, the current of which was due to expire on December 31st.
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Owners said Sunday that COVID-19 had exacerbated problems, but noted that problems with the NPS stem from the expiration of the last 20-year contract in 2018.
“The National Park Service should have selected an operator in the long term to ensure the continued operation of this national treasure,” said the Hountalases in their statement on Sunday.
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