SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — It’s the last weekend in business for three popular restaurants in San Francisco’s Union Square. By January 2, their doors will be closed for good.
Sushi Boat, Kuletto’s and Lori’s Diner — all within walking distance of one another – are all shutting down.
Lori’s Diner is known for its cheap food and vintage decor. It’s been a staple on Union Square for 32 years for locals and tourists alike.
The people we spoke to who work there will be moving to the Sutter Street location but they’re still sad this space will soon disappear.
For 25 years, manager Marta Selfino has been bustling around, taking care of customers and brightening people’s day.
“We’re really sad. We’ve all been here a long time,” she says.
Delfino says the building was bought a year and a half ago and the new owner wants to completely renovate it.
“Now the building permits and everything is ready to go. So, we have to go,” says Delfino.
“It’s sad, because it’s one of the places we found that reminds us of…we’re from Michigan,” says Danielle Yuhasz. “So it kind of reminds us about the little diners we had back there.”
Yuhasz is from Sunnyvale and is in the city with her family to ring in 2017. Stopping here before celebrating New Year’s Eve has become a tradition for them.
“The decor and the diner atmosphere is phenomenal. The food is great. The milkshakes are great, the kids like to eat here,” she says. “And even though they’re very busy, we can almost always walk in and get counter service. So it’s been a great place to come.”
“It’s kind of a little bit of that olden style. I wasn’t around to experience some of the 1900s, that kind of era. It’s kind of a little bit older and has that family feeling.”
Don’t worry. Diners can still satisfy their French toast cravings at Lori’s Diner’s other two locations on Sutter Street or in Ghiradelli Square, but there’s something about the location on Mason that will always be missed.
“It’s smaller, it’s more personal, it’s cozy,” says Delfino. “We get to know the people more than like a really big place. And we made a lot of friendships here because we’re able to talk to the people, too, as well as serve the meals.”
“As tourists we come here for things like this and it looks like it’s been an amazing place,” adds Vanessa Brennan, here visiting from Brisbane, Australia. “So, sad for San Francisco.”
Plans are in the works to turn the second floor into a steak house, and third floor will be rooftop dining.
Meanwhile, the owner of Lori’s Diner is currently looking for a space to open a new location to replace this one. He hopes to be up and running next year.