Alioto’s Restaurant at S.F.’s Fisherman’s Wharf permanently closes

Alioto’s Restaurant, the Sicilian seafood staple at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf for the past near-century, has ended its 66-year lease with the Port of San Francisco — 14.5 years early — and is permanently closing, port officials said Friday.

The coronavirus pandemic hit restaurants across the Bay Area hard, prompting many businesses to remain shuttered since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, including the Alioto’s Restaurant, Port of San Francisco spokesperson Randy Quezada told The Chronicle on Friday.

Quezada said port officials have renegotiated leases with tenants and offered “generous rent relief packages including rent deferral and rent forgiveness, to complement federal, state and local assistance programs” during the coronavirus pandemic. But, he said, Alioto’s Restaurant representatives opted to end their 66-year lease with the Port early.

Since closing its doors in 2020, port officials said restaurant representatives have not paid rent for its restaurant or storage properties.

The restaurant’s website shows a message to patrons that appears to have been posted at the time of its then-temporary closure that reads, “In light of recent events we will be closed until further notice. Stay safe and healthy.”

Quezada said the closure is “heartbreaking for the Port and the generations of San Franciscans and tourists that have enjoyed the Alioto’s dining experience.” Alioto’s is one of the oldest family-owned restaurants in San Francisco, he said.

“Alioto’s drew thousands of visitors each month for its great food, amazing views of the water, history, and age-old family recipes,” Quezada said. “Their contribution to the Port and the City will not soon be forgotten.”

The iconic restaurant, which has views of the bay from the foot of Taylor Street at the Wharf, entered into the 66-year lease with the port in 1970, port officials said. Alioto’s website said that the restaurant was being run by the “fourth generation of the Alioto family.”

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PS From Alioto’s Restaurant is a historic restaurant, located in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. It began as a fish stand in 1925, operated by Sicilian immigrant, Nunzio Alioto, Sr. In 1932, with business at his Stall #8 doing well, Alioto built the first building on Fisherman’s Wharf and began selling crab and shrimp cocktails. A full restaurant opened in 1938. The restaurant is credited to be the first to create and serve Cioppino.[1] King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway dined there in 1995.

Posted by Teri Perticone


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