Apparently 2009 will be remember as the Year of the Vacancy in San Francisco. One after another, old establishments are closing shop quite quickly. Some I’ve welcomed the demise of such as Postrio which was about 19 years late in closing its 1980’s attitude. But just today, I read that the Carnelian Room is closing. I never ate there. I had maybe one or two drinks there. But what I did have there was a constant go-to spot to bring guests from out of town to admire the view. From 52 floors above the ground, you could see an amazing sweep of the city. At the end of the year, that will be gone. Well, the floor will still be there, but who knows if you’ll be able to just pop up and see it. I think not and for that I, and all my future guests, will be sad.
But more importantly than views is that fact that when walking up through North Beach today, I found that Coit Liquors closed. This truly is sad news (that apparently happened a few months back) as they were one of my favorite wine shops in the city. They had a good selection and I liked pretty much anything I bought there. Naturally there are many other good wine shops in San Francisco (like biondivino and Ferry Plaza), but I liked them. This is a sad day for booze.
It’s hard not to be a bit down about all this because it’s not like these places are closing due to the owners getting tired of running them or someone else buying the place. No, it’s the common thread of the economy and it’s at this point that I say to all those who have been saying it, yes it is not like the 2000 recession. A lot of places closed then as well, but they were mostly fluff leftover from the dot-com excess. These are regular businesses who weathered that storm and seemed to be fine. Apparently there were a lot of spots left for the trimming. I just dread that only the Walmarts and Bestbuys will make it through this. All I can say is that if you have the means, support your local stores. They know you and need you now.