SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Popular chef Traci Des Jardins officially ended her relationship with the Presidio Trust Wednesday after her two restaurants she operated in the Presidio were shut down for almost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commissary and Arguello, both 6-years-old and located in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park, announced their closures early Wednesday, thanking their customers for their support.READ MORE: Longtime San Francisco Merchants Lament Recent Spike in Burglaries
“Dear friends: We are sorry to share that, due to the complicated pressures brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the six-year partnership between the Presidio Trust, @bonappetitmgt, and chef @tracidesjardins has unfortunately come to an end,” read a statement on the Commissary’s Instagram page. “We are proud of the thousands of locally and sustainably sourced meals that our teams have served at our award-winning @thecommissarysf and @arguellosf restaurants, and through @presidiofoodscatering. We are sincerely grateful to all who have chosen to dine with us and trust us with your special events over the years.”
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The Commissary served high end Mexican food that Jardins was known for, while Arguello served more common fare like tacos and margaritas.
Both eateries initially closed last March after California ordered its residents to shelter-in-place to stop the spread of COVID-19 and remained shuttered the entire time. At the time, Jardin’s partner company, Bon Appetit, furloughed 130 employees. The companies projected a loss of $20 million, at minimum, due to the pandemic.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Des Jardins and the Presidio Trust attempted to sign a lease to help keep the restaurants around but they couldn’t agree on the terms.
“Signing leases right now is not what most people want to do in relation to the restaurant business,” Des Jardins told the Chronicle. “It’s just a very scary time with an uncertain future. We didn’t feel it was prudent to go forward.”
Des Jardins, who made a name for herself with her celebrated Hayes Valley restaurant Jardiniere, has few eateries still open. Jardinere and her Ferry Building Mexican spot Mijita closed in 2019, and with the closures of her Presidio restaurants, that leaves only the Public House in Oracle Park and School Night in the Dogpatch. She told the Chronicle that she intends to open a new Mexican restaurant with Bon Appetit.
The Presidio Trust announced it is currently looking for new tenants to fill the spaces left open by Des Jardins’s decision.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Victim, Suspect Identified In Fatal Oakland Park Shooting in Front of Children
“These businesses are owned by the Presidio Trust and they remain only temporarily closed. We are seeking new tenants to lease the restaurants and reopen them as soon as possible,” Presidio Trust media representative Lisa Petri told KPIX. “For Presidio Foods Catering, we are announcing a new partner next week, who will serve our venues and catering customers in the current pipeline and for the future. The Presidio Trust is looking forward to expanding park food operations in new restaurants at the Presidio Tunnel Tops in October.”