SAN FRANCISCO—On Monday, July 13, Louis’ Restaurant (Louis’) announced via social media that they will permanently close the business.
Louis’ is a family-run restaurant founded in 1937. It is located on Point Lobos Avenue in the city of San Francisco. Tom and Bill Hontalas, the grandsons of the original owners, are currently in charge of the restaurant. According to their website, Louis’ is also one of the restaurants in the city that does not accept credit cards.
The restaurant was started by Louis and Helen Hontalas, who were immigrants from Greece.
“The tale of how Louis’ Restaurant came to be stretches back the good part of a century. It is a story of hard work, perseverance, a loving family and the American dream,” reads details from the restaurant’s website.
There were a few tables and counter seats when the restaurant first opened its doors to the public 83 years ago. Louis’ survived two fires in 1948 and 1966. The fires caused extensive damage. In 2010, the Hontalas family received a 10-year-long lease award from National Park Service which helped the establishment to continue the family-owned business. The National Park Service owns the land the restaurant is on.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant closed temporarily in mid-March. As the announcement notes, the owner of Louis’ Restaurant made the final decision to permanently close by considering two aspects: safety and finance.
“After much deliberation and a lot of tears we have decided after 83 continuous years of business on Point Lobos Avenue to close our business permanently. This decision was very difficult to make but with everything we have seen and heard regarding reopening for indoor dining we felt it was an unsafe environment for us and our employees. To wait out this pandemic was financially unreasonable,” read the announcement via Facebook.
After the owners posted the announcement via social media, over 600 hundred users commented under it with best wishes and understanding. Louis’ Restaurant sent thanks to National Park Service for their several decade partnership.