Weird Fish, one of the Mission’s quirky-yet-popular restaurants owned by Timothy Holt and Peter Hood has been mysteriously “closed for repairs” since April 1.
But that’s not the whole story. Following a decline in customer satisfaction, Weird Fish’s future is being negotiated: the ownership and the menu.
“The partners have decided they’re splitting ways,” said Naomi Brilliant, co-owner Timothy Holt’s girlfriend.
The couple live on Brilliant’s Roshambo Farms in Healdsburg, which provided most of Weird Fish’s veggies.
“I think Timothy’s going to end up with the restaurant,” she said.
But in an email to Mission Loc@l, Holt wrote, “I have taken a break from the restaurant to plant farmland I live on,” referring to Roshambo Farms.
This is just the latest confusion about the popular seafood restaurant, opened in 2006 by Holt and Hood on Mission Street at 18th.
On April 2 this year, a post on Weird Fish’s Facebook page read that co-owner Hood, not Holt, would be solely “taking over” the restaurant, which would be closed for “the next few weeks.”
It would not be the first time Holt left a restaurant he started with Hood. The pair started the Corner restaurant just two doors down from Weird Fish in early 2009. Later the same year, Holt left the Corner.
With the change, Holt brought executive chef Alex Jackson from the Corner to Weird Fish, leading to a truly San Francisco-style controversy as Weird Fish’s menu changed radically. Popular vegan options such as a fish and chips alternative disappeared.
Jackson left the restaurant in April 2010, according to Holt, but discontent among some customers has remained. A recent Yelp review sums up their sentiment: “I miss the old Weird Fish.”
“We are changing the menu, and getting back to our roots,” the April 2 post said.
On April 22, another Facebook post offered hope: “I believe we are turning a corner, and will be open in a few weeks.”
But in his May 3 email to Mission Loc@l, Holt said that he’s “not quite sure when we’ll reopen.”
Holt declined to comment on his partnership with Hood, but said that when the restaurant reopens, it will have a new chef.
What other changes can customers expect? “I am internally torn with the sustainability of seafood, so I will have to see what we can do with locally caught products,” said Holt. “Honestly, most fish need a break.”
Until these dilemmas are sorted out, a Bull Dog bike lock holds shut the gate to Weird Fish.
UPDATE, 5/9/11: In an e-mail to Mission Loc@l, restaurant manager Vince Rodrigues said that Timothy Holt will be taking sole ownership of Weird Fish. This has been confirmed by Holt.