The location of longtime seaside diner Louis’ Restaurant may become the home of a new restaurant, according to the National Park Service, which owns the San Francisco building.
“The NPS is currently working toward a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the future for a tenant to occupy 902 Point Lobos Ave to operate a restaurant,” park service spokesperson Julian Espinoza said in an email.
The park service had previously said that there was no search process underway, but that it would “maintain the building and evaluate its potential use for the future.”
The service did not say when the request for proposal, a formal document asking for vendor bids, would be released. The service had a bidding process for the former Cliff House restaurant nearby, and has selected a new operator, but has not shared further details.
Louis’ Restaurant closed in August 2020 after more than 80 years in business, just months before it was due to renew its lease. The months of closure due to Covid made it infeasible to stay open.
Whoever takes over the building will have to address needed repairs to the building, which has not been fully renovated in decades, Espinoza said.
Public documents say that while the building is in “good overall condition,” the building would not be up to current building code and would need even more modifications if the next restaurant there wanted to expand the space.
Laurie Thomas, head of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said that renovation of professional kitchens can be very expensive.
“Once you get into plumbing and electrical, you can easily get to $100,000,” Thomas said.
Tom Hontalas, former co-owner of Louis’ Restaurant, said that he was excited to see who ends up taking over.
“I wish them the best, and look forward to seeing what they’ll do with the place,” Hontalas said. “Maybe one day I’ll drop in. I don’t think I’ll say who I am, but I’d check it out.”
Garrett Leahy can be reached at [email protected]