A rare sight -- no lines at Tartine. Photo by Julian Mark

Tartine Bakery on Guerrero and 18th will be closed this weekend, thanks to a Health Department inspection last week that purportedly found signs of a rodent infestation. 

“We’ve had to do this many times over the years,” Chad Robertson, Tartine’s founder told the Chronicle, which first reported the closure yesterday. “Our whole team is there removing everything so crews can make necessary repairs.”

On Saturday morning, the corner of 18th and Guerrero — normally populated with a long line of customers — was barren. Disappointed would-be patrons occasionally walked up and read paper signs taped to the windows, explaining the closure was due to “emergency maintenance issues.” The bakery was still distributing preordered cakes and pies, the signs said, but noted everything else would have to wait until after Sunday. 

Rui Su, 25, who was visiting from Toronto, thought she had gotten lucky when she saw no line. There had been a long queue last weekend, like every weekend. “I was really looking forward to trying their baked goods,” she said. 

Despite being slightly “hesitant” to visit in the future, she said she’ll probably come back. “We should give them a chance to explain — things happen in life,” she said. 

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Many customers said they understood the realities of running a food establishment in a dense city and would likely return. Some considered moseying over to the Tartine Manufactury on 18th and Alabama, which is still open. 

“In a city this can sometimes be out of your control,” said Brittany Kusa, 33, who works at a restaurant in Seattle. “It can happen even if you have a high standard of cleanliness.”

She said she’d come back after Tartine re-opens. 

“Ew!” said Samantha K. when notified the closure had to do with rodents. Still, the 28-year-old Chicagoan said she trusts the bakery will “return to the proper standards set by the city.” 

Her friend, Alexandra G., agreed and unequivocally said “yes,” when asked if she’d return. 

“Everyone said it was great, but I didn’t know it was dirty,” said Mike Carey, 53, who was visiting from San Antonio. But, he said, “I’d give them a chance,” adding: “Maybe it adds flavor.”

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Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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  1. Hey, infestations are not dirt. It’s an unfortunate invasion of animals in an urban setting. I wouldn’t assume if your home had mice that it was dirty. I am sure Tartine is very clean.

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  2. “We’ve had to do this many times over the years,” Chad Robertson, Tartine’s founder told the Chronicle…”. Umm, how many times, and how did you cover it up, with notes stating the place was closed “for maintenance”? “Many times…” and you still haven’t fixed the rodent problem? These guys rake in dough by the boatload from customers who pay premium price and they won’t spend the money on the basics? Shameless owners.

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  3. here’s my issue, the inspectors came by and cited them for the rodent problem, THREE DAYS LATER when the inspectors returned, Tartine had done nothing to fix the issues, that’s when they were shut down for RODENT FECES in prep and storage areas……that’s careless, reckless and gross

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