After being displaced by development in Hayes Valley, then taking a short-lived stint on Valencia Street, the family behind popular Mediterranean restaurant Hayes & Kebab has finally found a new home in Mission Bay.
They plan to open a new restaurant, named SF Kebab, on the UCSF Mission Bay campus at Third and 16th streets around the start of the new year. Diners can expect all the old menu favorites, including falafel, wraps, gyros, and of course, kebabs.
Back in 2014, Hayes & Kebab, which had been in business at the corner of Hayes and Laguna since 2007, was displaced from its building for the construction of a five-story mixed-use development. At the time, owner Bawar Tekin was optimistic that Hayes & Kebab would return to the development's ground floor once it was built, but he now says that won't happen.
"The rents at the new development were way too high—$10 a [square] foot was what they were asking," Tekin said. The family looked at other spaces in the neighborhood, but nothing was within their reach.
In the meantime, Tekin's brother took another storefront in the Mission, Valencia & Kebab. But Tekin says the location had to close its doors after just 10 months because his brother was overextended, with other restaurants and a family to attend to.
Fortunately, UCSF stepped in, and Tekin signed a 25-year lease at the campus' Mission Hall (550 16th St.) last November. The new space is in "a beautiful area," he said. "Nice and sunny. It has outdoor space, about 2,000 square feet."
The goal is to open by mid-December, if all goes smoothly. The menu will stay largely the same, but Tekin says they may add breakfast items to cater to an early-rising university crowd.
"It's not like Hayes Valley yet," he said. "It's a new, establishing neighborhood. It gives me the same kind of feeling of being part of the community, being part of UCSF. It feels good."
Tekin says Hayes Valley continues to be near and dear to their family, and they'll continue to look for a space in the neighborhood they can afford.
"I have always wanted to reopen in Hayes, if there is an opportunity," Tekin said. "If it ever happens, it will be this and Hayes Valley."
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