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COVID, Contract Negotiations Force Cliff House to Close

After 157 years and a storied history, San Francisco’s Cliff House restaurant will permanently close on December 31, 2020. Like its brethren in the restaurant industry, Cliff House had struggled from COVID-related dining restrictions. But in a statement on the restaurant’s website, owners Dan and Mary Hountalas laid the blame more firmly on the National Park Service.

The Hountalases operated Cliff House since 1973, when they leased it from then-owner, George Whitney, Jr. In 1977, the National Park Service bought the building and incorporated it into Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The NPS then entered into 20-year concession contracts with the Hountalases, the most recent of which expired in June 2018.

Since its expiration, the Hountalases said the NPS had offered only short-t…

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