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Beloved Mission pub leaves for Oakland, blaming tech and delivery apps

A corner street view with "The Monk's Kettle" pub, sidewalk seating available, and an "Open Daily" sign.
The Monk’s Kettle, located at 3141 16th St., is moving to Oakland after 16 years in the Mission District. | Source: Joe Burn/The Standard

The Monk’s Kettle, a popular craft beer gastropub in San Francisco’s Mission District, is moving to Oakland after 16 years.

In a 1,000-word goodbye letter, co-owner Christian Albertson didn’t blame a bike lane, homelessness, drugs, the pandemic, progressive politics or crime. Instead, he wrote, tech workers who eat for free at the office and the rise of food delivery apps are squarely to blame for the move across the Bay Bridge and the rise of a boring San Francisco bar scene.

Albertson reflected on what he calls the seismic shifts the neighborhood and industry have undergone since the establishment opened in 2007. Back then, he said the local craft beer scene was almost nonexistent, social media was in its infancy (the bar even had a MySpace page) and the Mission was filled with restaurant workers and artists.

But around 2011, food delivery services like Postmates began disrupting the business, with delivery sales now accounting for a third of the Monk’s Kettle’s revenue, Albertson said in the letter. Postmates did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“When the Google busses started coming through the Mission (read: when tech workers became a higher and higher percentage of the city’s population), the restaurant industry (among others) incurred all sorts of collateral damage,” Albertson wrote.

The pub forked out more than $100,000 in “really insane” delivery fees to apps last year, he said, which amounts to about 20% of the revenue the business previously made from two customers who hung out at the bar eating and drinking.

“Never mind that the entire experience of The Monk’s Kettle has now been transformed from a welcoming place where you hang out with friends in a fun atmosphere…to eating a lukewarm burger and fries in your apartment,” Albertson wrote.

He further complained that the city is sleepier than it was for the first nine years of business, when they had to kick people out at 2 a.m. after a second dinner rush at around 10 p.m. Now, he feels closing at 11 p.m. is often too late.

After personally moving his family out to Marin years ago, Albertson said relocating the Monk’s Kettle to Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood is a bid to re-create the stable community feeling the Mission used to provide. His business partner also moved to the East Bay.

“There was a time when SF was the place to be, and we hope that it is able to return to that status, but at present, there seems to be a reason everyone has been fleeing for a better path elsewhere,” Albertson wrote.

The Monk’s Kettle will serve beers and burgers at its 16th Street location through June, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which first reported its relocation plan. The bar also has a Terra Linda location.

The new location at 5484 College Ave. in Oakland’s Rockridge is expected to open in the fall.

Joe Burn can be reached at