Popular Asian eatery permanently closes after more than 2 decades of business

September 19, 2023 by No Comments

After an impressive 23-year presence in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, Turtle Tower has bid its final farewell, serving its last bowl of pho ga on Sunday, September 17th. This development aligns with a broader trend of Vietnamese restaurants in the Bay Area facing closures. Just a day earlier, on Saturday, September 16th, the closure of Loi’s Vietnamese Restaurant in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset area occurred, which had been a beloved establishment for 35 years. Additionally, Oakland’s Le Cheval, a restaurant with 38 years of history, is scheduled to close its doors on September 30th.

Turtle Tower has held a significant place in San Francisco’s culinary landscape for an extended period. The eatery, renowned for its Northern Vietnamese pho served without traditional accompaniments like bean sprouts and basil, takes its name from the iconic Vietnamese landmark, Thap Rua, meaning “turtle tower,” situated in Hanoi.

Previously, Turtle Tower boasted four restaurants across San Francisco, but in recent years, both the Outer Richmond and San Francisco State locations ceased operations. The website recently updated its venues, removing the Tenderloin location from the list. However, the business has not yet given an explanation for the restaurant’s permanent closure.

Today, there remains only one destination where patrons can savor the heartwarming Vietnamese chicken broth soup – Turtle Tower’s sole surviving outpost, located at 501 Sixth St. in San Francisco’s SoMa district.

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