San francisco restaurants

A prominent Bay Area bartender is closing three of his restaurants in San Francisco

After months of keeping the lights off at San Francisco restaurants Trou Normand, Nommo and Obispo, star restaurateur and bartender Thad Vogler has announced the permanent closure of all three establishments.

Vogler’s decision to close its three restaurants was not easy. This dates back to long before the shutdown, according to The San Francisco Chronicle which first reported the closures.

“I made mistakes,” Vogler told The Chronicle. “The classic restaurant mistakes: grow too fast so you don’t have enough cash, then your seats become mediocre because you don’t have the bandwidth to maintain quality. This is where I was when COVID hit.

ALSO: Their bar closed long before the pandemic. Now this duo is ready to save other bars during COVID

All three locations closed following mandatory shelter-in-place orders with no reopening for patio dining or takeout. It wasn’t something Vogler found tempting, as switching to takeout would have required a new business model.

“We’re in this business to do something beautiful, and my locations don’t lend themselves to directing,” Vogler told The Chronicle.

Volger will continue to operate his other business, Bar Agricole, once it reopens in a different location next year. Le Bar Agricole closed in March after 10 years at its 355 11th St. location.

ALSO: Here’s where SF and California don’t align on reopening businesses

Reflecting on the three closures, Vogler told The Chronicle that operating multiple restaurants in San Francisco was no longer enjoyable and that he hopes downsizing with Bar Agricole will help him focus on his true passion – to be a bartender.

“I’m not a good restaurateur; I’m a bartender,” Vogler told The Chronicle.

Susana Guerrero is an SFGATE digital journalist. Email: | Twitter: @SusyGuerrero3


Sign up for ‘The Daily’ newsletter for the latest coronavirus news here.

—The 6-foot rule is ‘obsolete’: Researchers design chart to assess COVID risk
—How worried should the Bay Area be about a “third peak” of COVID-19 in the fall?
—The $5 coronavirus rapid test does not require specialized equipment
—Will wildfire evacuations accelerate the spread of the coronavirus in the Bay Area?
—Alameda County allows outdoor hair and nail salons to open