Thanx to friend Anita Rechler, the above picture, taken May 13, confirms that indeed Sam Wo’s is closed and has yet to satisfy the Health Department that it meets code.
In October of last year, I wrote, “Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You can go home again – almost.”
The topic was an old favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Sam Wo’s. After being away a few years, I found myself one noon in SF with some free time, and so hastened to Washington St. to see if it was still there. You can read for yourself how delighted I was with what I found.
Now, thanks (?) to my good niece Leslie, comes word that after 100 years, Sam Wo’s is closing. You can read about the details as written in the SF Chronicle, but basically, the place is so far from being acceptable to the Health Department, that it would take a mammoth rebuilding to keep it open.
Alas, the present owner has chosen, probably understandably, not to do so. It will close Friday nite/Saturday morn, April 20/21.
And so my apologies to the also deceased Thomas Wolfe. After going ‘home’ to Sam Wo’s for the last 50 years, that is now no longer possible.
Update: Sat., Apr. 21, 4 PM: Now comes word that there may be hope. According to this article, the owner’s daughter wants to keep Sam Wo’s open and will appear before the Health Board on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
Update, Wed., Apr. 25: The health dept hearing’s over, and all agree that Sam Wo’s can reopen if they correct the code violations. Owner appears to want to do so. No reopening date set. See SF Chronicle latest story.