The pupusa purveyors at Balompie, located on 18th and Capp streets, have announced must close for at least six months while seismic retrofits are performed in the building, potentially costing the staff of around 20 people their jobs.
May 29 will be the business’ last day of operations, until the restaurant reopens sometime in 2017.
Business owner Amadeo Gonzalez said his landlords notified him at the beginning of the year that the city mandated retrofit needed to be performed, and let him know several weeks ago that Gonzalez would need to move the business out by June 1. He said he will try to reopen the business after repairs are done, but the interim will be hard. The landlords could not immediately be reached for comment.
Gonzalez has run Balompie on 18th Street for 28 years. His employees at that location will be out of a job for the meantime, and Gonzalez said he will be too — though he has partner ownership of another Balompie location at 3801 Mission St. — his main source of income was the 18th Street location. For now, he said, he would take a few weeks off while deciding what to do next.
José Lopez, a Balompie employee, said he would have to start looking for a job, and that his roughly 20 coworkers would have to do the same. He expected the retrofit to take well over six months, more likely a year.
Rumors of a relocation to a building on 17th and Capp streets may not pan out – Gonzalez, formerly the owner of that building, sold it last September. It’s currently undergoing major reconstruction, slated to become a four-story, three-unit mixed use building with a commercial space on the ground floor. Gonzalez said he wasn’t sure when that ground floor would be ready for a restaurant to move in – and even once it is, the price might be too steep.