The Old Clam House—one of San Francisco's most historic restaurants—quietly reopened Wednesday after being closed for two years. The pandemic played a role in the closure, but the retirement of former co-owners Jerry Dal Bozzo and Dante Serafini, who were also owners of The Stinking Rose in North Beach, also played a role.
Though Google Maps still lists the restaurant as closed and The Old Clam House's official website still carries a note saying it has no firm reopening date, guests can once again chow down at the 161-year-old joint.
Filomena Florese, the restaurant's new owner, told The Standard that she bought The Old Clam House in February and is looking forward to bringing it back to life. Florese, who also owns Mona Lisa Ristorante in North Beach, has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry.
The Old Clam House first opened in 1861—the same year as Tadich Grill, which is often cited as being the oldest restaurant in San Francisco. It doesn’t look too shabby. Of course, it helps that it had a significant renovation in 2011, which restored the facade and added giant seashells to the roof. The interior features plank walls covered in San Francisco memorabilia.
“The atmosphere, this neighborhood, that memorability—all of those things attracted me here,” said Florese. “I couldn't let this place go.”
The Old Clam House will be open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and it will feature a full bar and an Italian-themed menu—starting with a shot of clam juice. Florese said she intends to keep many of the iconic restaurant's menu items and traditions.
“We’re sticking with some of the same traditional menu items,” she said. “From the clam juice to clam chowder and sizzling platters, plus we’ll bring in authentic homemade pasta from scratch and seafood that you would find in Italy.”
For more information on The Old Clam House, visit the restaurant’s website.
Meaghan Mitchell can be reached at [email protected]