After a twenty-year run, the Buca di Beppo at 855 Howard Street has been shuttered. And another restaurant isn’t expected to take its place.

Instead, permits to start gutting the building’s interior have been requested. And as proposed, the building will be converted into 12,000 square feet of pure office space.

Keep in mind that the 4,000-square-foot parcel upon which the two-story SoMa building currently stands is theoretically zoned for development up to 130 feet in height. We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by PanhandlePro

    Every single story commercial / industrial building in SF should eventually be demolished to make way for a 4-15 story replacement. Hope that happens here.

    • Posted by jwb

      It’s two stories, and the upstairs has been offices for about 20 years as well.

    • Posted by Hunter

      I’d imagine a 13-story hotel here would do pretty well…though losing another lively ground-floor spot to office space in an already dead area is a bummer.

  2. Posted by Notcom

    I doubt they’ll be missed much….not w/ 91 others in the chain left. I’m surprised that such a – well, tourist trap probably isn’t the right word…maybe “formulaic restaurant” ?? – didn’t (originally) seek out something more in the “touristy” areas (Fisherman’s wharf, Union Square, etc.)…guess proximity to Moscone Ctr was an advantage.

    • Posted by kbbl

      I ended up there once for a college club offsite. It was indeed fun for a largish crowd of people without a clue to go elsewhere in SF.

    • Posted by Torger Cobus

      I’d always meant to try it out. Guess I missed my chance. Saw one in Pasadena last weekend. Skipped it, too.

  3. Posted by sfdragonboy

    Well, a 20 year run in this expensive and foody town is not too shabby. RIP

  4. Posted by scott f

    First thought was it’s an interim use while they wait for a Central SoMa Plan upzoning to rebuild taller, but it’s outside the plan area. Mystifying.

  5. Posted by Amewsed

    Was this restaurant chain any good? I see coupons for it all the time but always thought it would be mediocre at best. Was it like Joe’s Crab Shack in Fisherman’s Wharf where you can get better seafood anywhere else? Rather go to a mom and pop Italian restaurant in North Beach or elsewhere.

    Highest and best use principles would dictate as many floors as allowed.

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      Actually their food isn’t bad, but it’s served family-style and in copious quantities, so it is really the sort of place that only works for groups of, say, five or more. And in a city with Italian heritage like SF, of course you can find better Italian. But it was kind of a fun place for a big group dinner.

      • Posted by BTinSF

        It was more east coast Italian-American than actual Italian and, of course, San Francisco’s true Italian heritage is from a different part of Italy with different food, namely Genoa and Lombardi, not southern Italy and Sicily.

    • Posted by Sassy

      Equal to Olive Garden: overcooked pasta, flavorless sauces, tons of store bought bread. Went there once for a Christmas office party 15 years ago and never thought of going back. Next please!

      • Posted by NoeNeighbor

        I haven’t been there in years, but actually thought it was much better than the Olive Garden (which I abhor); It definitely had more character.

    • Posted by joh

      I’ve only eaten there once at a different location, entirely by accident in the late 90s. Even back then, I thought the food was mediocre, but not bad. Typical of old school American Italian food.

  6. Posted by Sierrajeff

    I knew this is a chain now, but for some reason I always thought this was the first one – Nope, first one was in Minneapolis in 1993. So, I feel less bad about this closing. Still, I echo u/Hunter; more office and lobby space is not the way to preserve, let alone enhance, a walkable neighborhood.

  7. Posted by r_sq

    Why not make a boatload of money redeveloping this patch of land to its full height potential or selling it to someone who can? Does the adjacent billboard have a right to unobscured views? (I wouldn’t be surprised)

    • Posted by Torger Cobus

      It looks like it could be a historic resource.

      • Posted by Torger Cobus

        Or a contributor to a potential historic district.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          The building was found to be ineligible for the National Register, California Register or a local historic designation last year.

  8. Posted by unlivable city

    No doubt the “Buca di Beppo” of Italian cuisine will be quickly replaced with the “Buca di Frisco” of an architectural limp noodle.

  9. Posted by Cody

    Ate there many years ago. Good riddance! I ate at the one in Las Vegas & that one was decent.

  10. Posted by MDG399

    Icky food

  11. Posted by Mark

    Of course, all the SF food snobs crawl out from under their linen napkins.

    Anyway, the site is in a weird area. Close to Moscone, but still sketchy, especially at night.

  12. Posted by Goool

    There’s a full basement in that building that was part of the restaurant.

  13. Posted by Mari

    Buca di Beppo thank you for 20 years of service in the community.

    More office space? How much more do we need?!

    • Posted by Mark F.

      You may as well thank Mc Donald’s while you are at it. In fact, I prefer a Big Mac over the “food” they served here. No loss to the community.

  14. Posted by Cindy

    We Need housing for the people that are here the natives not high rises for transients there’s too many people here already San Francisco is a small town with alot of greedy people.

    • Posted by Brian M

      San Francisco is a city that has had well over 500,000 people for half a century. It is the center of a metropolitan area that by some measurements has 7 million people. It is downright DELUSIONAL to make a statement like “SF is a small town”.

      As for greed….are you volunteering to give up your house or apartment for half price? Why not? Are you GREEDY?

  15. Posted by Sir

    Does anyone remember the name of the place that was here before it was Buca di Beppo?

    • Posted by jwb

      Great question. According to the only recorded building permit for this address prior to 1997, the building was used as a warehouse.

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