SAN FRANCISCO—On Sunday, August 30, Gujarati restaurant Besharam, located in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, became the latest local restaurant to announce its indefinite closure due to the economic pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic.
La Cocina star Heena Patel and celebrity chef Daniel Patterson collaborated to open the restaurant in May 2018. Less than a year later, Patel broke ties with Patterson, assuming full control of the restaurant. She created a new menu of regional dishes from her home state of Gujarat, India and turned the restaurant into one that received much acclaim. Eater SF named Besharam the 2019 Restaurant of the Year.
Besharam stayed open for takeout and outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patel shifted her menu to include foods that did not have to be served warm to accommodate for takeout travel times. Yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Patel made the decision to temporarily shut down her restaurant. In an Instagram post, Besharam staff and leaders explained why the restaurant is closing:
“When COVID-19 first took hold of our community and prompted Besharam curbside service and outdoor dining, we promised to serve our community and meet needs as best as we could. However, partial dine-in and takeout dining has proven to not be enough to sustain the industry and continue to pay our staff fair San Francisco wages. Therefore, due to the economic pressure felt by all small businesses and restaurants in this unprecedented situation, we are temporarily closing our doors.”
The Instagram message concludes with a promise that the restaurant will return “shortly and stronger than ever.”