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Food & Drink

Downtown San Francisco McDonald’s shutters after nearly 30 years

A McDonald's restaurant in a cityscape with tall buildings and a blue sky.
The franchise owner of a McDonald's restaurant on Front Street in Downtown San Francisco’s financial district announced its closure last Friday. | Source: Courtesy Google Street View

A Downtown San Francisco McDonald's has closed, with its franchise owner citing challenging economic conditions and empty offices.

A sign in the restaurant's door Tuesday on Front Street between Sacramento and California streets in the city's Financial District said, "We are thankful to have been a part of your daily meal routine" since 1994. 

Owner-operator Scott Rodrick said all employees at the restaurant were offered work opportunities at his other San Francisco locations. 

READ MORE: Downtown San Francisco 24 Hour Fitness Closing After 29 Years

The sign also directed hungry patrons to Rodrick's McDonald's on Sutter Street between Powell and Stockton streets near the city's Union Square shopping district.

Rodrick, a Dartmouth College graduate and former investment banker who has also co-founded a separate boutique restaurant group, has said he owns and operates the city's largest McDonald's franchise company.

Last Friday's closure "was not an easy decision," Rodrick told The Standard.

"The economics of running a franchised restaurant in San Francisco continue to be a challenge, particularly in a downtown that is impacted by high office building vacancy rates and visitor trends that have not recovered since the pandemic."

He also said that having no parking or a drive-through lane were factors in his decision to close the business.

A separate McDonald's remains open at 609 Market St., which Rodrick does not own.

Downtown San Francisco restaurants and eateries have taken some blows in the pandemic's wake compared with other U.S. cities. In October, Starbucks announced it would close seven locations in San Francisco.

A San Francisco Target recently closed due to rampant shoplifting. The operators of the Westfield mall near Union Square announced they would turn over the mall to their bank, citing declining sales.

While Union Square has faced serious issues with closures, with roughly half of the area's stores having closed since 2019, the shopping district has also welcomed new stores, including a hot yoga studio and a high-end Spanish shoe store.