Popular Lunch Spot in downtown San Francisco faces eviction due to unusual contract clause

November 29, 2023 by No Comments

Financial District workers commuting into downtown San Francisco may soon lose a popular lunch option. Julie’s Kitchen, a beloved buffet restaurant that served the city’s office lunch crowds before the pandemic, recently received an eviction notice from its landlord. The family-run business has occupied a roughly 2,000-square-foot space within the Crocker Galleria, a semi-indoor mall at 50 Post St., for nearly a decade.

Julie and Jisoo Yoo, the restaurant’s owners, were caught off guard by the eviction notice. Julie’s Kitchen is one of the last three remaining businesses in the Crocker Galleria, which once boasted a glass pavilion soaring above three levels filled with over three dozen specialty shops and eateries. Despite facing the challenges of the pandemic, the Yoos maintained consistent rent payments.

The issue appears to stem from the restaurant’s performance rather than rent payments. According to a notice from the attorneys of landlord Post-Montgomery Associates, a firm affiliated with insurance provider Prudential, Julie’s Kitchen has not met the annual revenue threshold of $500,000 stipulated in its lease agreement signed in 2014.

The lease, which expires in 2025 but includes a five-year renewal option for Julie’s Kitchen, grants the mall’s landlord the right to terminate the restaurant’s lease with a 30-day written notice if sales fall below $250 per square foot annually.

On November 10, the Yoos received the eviction notice, with their landlord’s attorney citing a steady decline in gross sales since the pandemic’s start, dropping from $420,606 in the 2020-2021 fiscal year to $149,435 earlier this year.

The Yoos noted that the mall was 100% occupied when the restaurant opened in 2014. However, by the time the renovation project was proposed and approved in late 2019, “90% of the tenants were gone,” they stated.

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