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Joe’s Cable Car Restaurant Closes After 49 Years In San Francisco

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Joe's Cable Car Restaurant

Joe Obegi’s Cable Car Restaurant in San Francisco served up its last burgers on Sunday night. (CBS)

Don-Knapp_BIO-HEAD Don Knapp
Don Knapp is a general assigment reporter at KPIX 5 Eyewitness News....
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They lined up for Joe’s last day — the end of an era — as a San Francisco institution closed up shop for good. It was the best hamburger joint ever — at least in the opinion of the folks who’ve been coming here for nearly fifty years.

“It’s just the best burger anywhere. Then there’s the decor, too. I love the red lights, the shiny floor,” said Conrad Carlen.

Many customers, who had moved away over the years, were drawn back for Joe’s final act.

“I moved to San Bruno in ’99 and so, being they were going to close, I decided to come back,” Laverne Keller told us.

Loyal customer Peter Bizaca grew up around the corner from Joe’s.

“Nothing can replace Joe’s and nothing — or nobody — can replace Joe. He’s an icon in this part of San Francisco. And the burgers are pretty good too,” he said.

Young Luka Bizaca was even more enthusiastic. “It’s really good, it’s the best place ever!”

That’s just what Joe himself (Joe Obegi) has always loved to hear.

“It’s beautiful to find out how many people really love us, basically,” he said.

Forty-nine years have taken their toll and his doctor says Joe needs to put down the waiting list and call it a day. We asked him if he’d miss the daily grind.

“Very much, very much,” he replied. “Because we get people, they’re pleased, they’re happy, they give me a smile. ‘Thank you, Joe, God bless you’ [they tell me]. And it’s going to be hard to wake up one day and have nowhere to go.”

The staff will get a couple weeks pay and all have new jobs lined up. But this is the end of the line for Cable Car burgers.

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