“For sure we’re not leaving in September,” said co-owner Carolyn Blair Brandeis. “We’ll be staying open at least through Christmas, that’s our plan.”
Blair Brandeis said the uncertainty is due to recent rent increases. A posting on Loopnet shows a rent of $17,500 per month for the 3,600 square foot building, located on the corner of 22nd and Valencia. The owners of Boogaloos declined to comment on the restaurant’s current rent, so it’s unclear how much of a hike the new rate would be. For now, Bogaloo’s is just doing its best to stay in place.
“We’re just trying every angle,” Blair Brandeis said. “It’s up in the air, but we will be staying as long as we can.”
The restaurant, established in 1994, is beloved by Mission residents and has developed a reputation for catering to vegans and vegetarians. On weekends, long lines crowd the sidewalk outside the restaurant’s historic building, which was built in 1927 and still sports the facade of a pharmacy that once occupied the space.
Eating a Wednesday lunch of avocados and potatoes, Sabina Topson and Marlena Lopez said they didn’t come to the diner often, but were here now because they had heard the restaurant would shutter.
“We’re here because we want to support a business that’s being pushed out,” Topson said, a plate of avocados and potatoes before her.
“The Temple of Spuds — it’s basically just a pile of smothered potatoes,” she said. Her thoughts on the dish? “Bomb,” she said, and “so good.”
Others were long-time customers also saddened by the potential closure.
“It sucks,” said Al, an “often enough” diner. “I’m pissed off because my friend works here. I like the people that work here, it’s got good food too.”
Another long-time customer, who declined to give his name, said he was accustomed to long-time businesses being forced out of the neighborhood and had become apathetic.
“I don’t care because so much has closed and I myself was evicted,” said the man. “It’s par for the course, I’m numb to the whole thing. There’s a giant part of me that’s like ‘I’m done with San Francisco.'”
Before being evicted from his 19th St. apartment, the man said he would come to Boogaloos twice a week for 15 years, always ordering the iced coffee — though his servers never remembered the drink order.
“I’m getting the iced coffee — just like every other time I’ve been here!” he exclaimed.
Co-owner Blair Brandeis said she would be looking for a new location for the restaurant if worst came to worst after Christmas.
“We will try to keep it open at another location,” she said. “We’re just trying to make this work.”