Farina’s SF restaurant empire collapses

The shuttered storefront of Farina's pizzeria on Valencia Street on a recent evening.

The Farina restaurant group seems to have collapsed. The second of two restaurants in the company has been evicted.

No pizzas appear to have been served at Farina Pizza on Valencia and 18th streets in recent weeks, and potential diners are met with conflicting messages in the window. One, a chalkboard sign, announces the restaurant is “now hiring” and another, written in pen on the reverse of an older laminated page, reads: “closed.”

Publicly available court documents indicate two deputy U.S. marshals went to Farina on Nov. 27 to evict the pizzeria from its location at 700 Valencia St. The specifics of that interaction are not noted, only that the deputies apparently spent “2 hr. Each.”

The eviction comes just a few months after Farina’s original restaurant, on 18th Street, was evicted following the seizure of its liquor license in June for unpaid taxes. The restaurant group has a long history of unpaid bills, including tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

At 700 Valencia Street, landlord John O’Connor began the eviction process in May 2015, saying that Farina’s lease was up and the option to renew it could not be exercised because the restaurant had not kept to the terms of the lease.

Farina denied the allegations and fired back by suing the landlord, claiming that he owed the restaurant an opportunity to extend their lease, and alleging that the restaurant owners had spent more than $2 million for the renovation of the downstairs space, which the landlord would unfairly take back.

The two suits were combined into one legal dispute in federal court. A judge issued findings in August, saying Farina has been illegally occupying the space since 2015.

A variety of quibbles remain over the money awarded to the landlord by the court — on the order of $360,000 — and Farina’s lawyer has begun the process of appealing the decision, but did not return a call for comment.

Separately, Farina also faces eviction from an upstairs office space it leases at 700 Valencia Street, though it’s unclear which unit that is or when that will be enforced.

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4 Comments

  1. Joe

    Agreed. Good, and good riddance. I feel sorry for the landlord.

  2. Chris Sro

    Good riddance. Those people were leaches and did not run a neighborhood-serving business.

  3. Mike

    But where is that dapper Italian gentleman in the cravat going to eat now?

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