Photo: Amy Graff / SFGate
No restaurant in San Francisco has reinvented itself faster than Prairie in the face of the pandemic. By March 16, the day the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, issued a protection order, the Italian mission site had already turned into a general store. But even if you turn this around quickly, you can’t save Prairie – on Friday the restaurant will be permanently closed, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chef and owner Anthony Strong explained that converting Prairie’s into a store selling pantry staples like pasta and beans, as well as toilet paper and meal kits should never be a permanent solution.
“The reality is that we were trading a highly competitive, low-margin business model that we knew about for a difficult-to-use, low-margin business model that was completely alien to us,” Strong told Chronicle.
In April, the new business model made a small profit, but it only lasted a few weeks and ultimately led to his decision to close the business.
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Opened on 19th Street and San Carlos Street in 2018, Prairie serves rustic Italian cuisine in a space inspired by science fiction. Earlier this year, Strong built a new private dining room at the restaurant, but when news of the virus got around in February, he found that his new concept wasn’t going to work.
“One thing I learned in a year as a little independent solo operation is how to do a few strokes, figure things out, and make quick decisions in the blink of an eye,” he told SFGATE at the time.
Prairie is located at 3431 19th St, San Francisco and is open for pickup and delivery every day through Friday from 11am to 6pm.
SFGATE has contacted Prairie for a comment and will update the article if we hear anything.
Madeline Wells is an SFGATE reporter. Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @ madwells22