The charming and quaint Old Clam House has been closed throughout the pandemic and the building has been put up for sale. But some familiar local restaurateurs bought it and will reopen the place, keeping it the same, but expanding the menu.
When we announced last May that the former historic Old Clam House in Bayview was up for sale, it was unclear, and perhaps unlikely, that a new buyer would keep that special kitsch magic about the place, and even fewer would keep it Old Clam House. We all hoped the delightfully outdated fish-themed silverware, buffalo-checkered plastic tablecloths, and walls full of ridiculous historical ephemera would stay put, but that would be up to the buyer, not us.
News! Local Twitter personality Burrito Justice tweeted the above image on Tuesday, along with a sign over the restaurant (which has been closed throughout the pandemic), saying “Clam House Opening Soon!” And the Chronicle has confirmed that the Old Clam House has been purchased and will remain the Old Clam House, under new ownership by the Florese family, which also owns the Mona Lisa restaurant in North Beach.
“I went to see it, and wow,” new owner Filomena Florese told the Chronicle. “I was so impressed with it: the memories, the history, that I said, ‘we have to reopen this.’ It’s the oldest restaurant, it’s in the same place, it makes you feel like you’re back in time.
Florese says they’re not going to change much at the Old Clam House. She says the memories and the setting will remain the same. Apparently the only notable changes will be to the menu, on which they plan to add cherry pits and razor clams to their traditional menu which only served manila clams. They will also add new Italian dishes.
“Since we are an Italian family, we could add pasta dishes,” Florese told the Chron. “Our tradition. But I want it to have the same feeling that people are used to, the same feeling that I had when I walked in.
The Old Clam House will apparently reopen in early May. And it will then remain the oldest continuously operating restaurant in San Francisco from the same location. Yes, the Tadich Grill is technically the oldest restaurant in San Francisco, but it opened as a cafe on Clay Street in 1849, then changed its menu to steak and seafood in the late 1880s, and moved to its current California Street location in 1967. The Old Clam House opened on the same Bayshore Boulevard location in 1861 as The Oakdale Bar & Clam House, and with the same “Milwaukee Steam Beer” advertisement which remains painted on the facade today.
And hopefully the “Milwaukee Steam Beer” signage will stay as well.
Related: Bayview’s charming and outdated old clam house is up for sale, asking $2.75million [SFist]
Image: @burritojustice by Twitter