Rent Hike Shutters FiDi's 'Mercedes Cantina' After 24 Years

Longtime Financial District Mexican eatery and pub Mercedes Hair of the Dog Cantina has called it quits after a valiant battle to stay open. November 22nd was the last day of business.

Owners Kate Riley, Leanna Lewis and Janine Galligan cited a major rent hike for the cantina's closure, the Chronicle reported. A year ago, new owners Priscilla Dosiou, Thomas Glenwright, Paul Schulte and Michael Timbs acquired the building. 

They raised the rent by 75 percent, Riley told the Chronicle, and the restaurant could not absorb the dramatic increase. The new owners also filed a liquor license for a new restaurant on October 17th.

Photo: Google Maps

Riley, Lewis, and Galligan had taken over the current location at 653 Commercial St. (between Kearny and Montgomery streets) back in 1994.

According to the goodbye post on Mercedes' Facebook page, the spot was formerly a Mexican restaurant that was first established in 1967. 

"We kept the staff, recipes and customers, never closed down," the former owners wrote. "One day the Castano's (sic) owned it, the next, we did. We cleaned it up and put new life into a great place."

Throughout the years, several employees had stayed with the restaurant, and some had worked at the restaurant between 24 and 30 years.

Mercedes provided Financial District workers with traditional Mexican fare for lunch. There was also a full bar, and the restaurant held private parties at night.

Photo: Mercedes Hair of the Dog Cantina/Facebook

To help support employees through the transition, customer Jenn Walsh created a Gofundme fundraising campaign. She stated that the money is not intended as severance, but as a small boost, since Mercedes has to close its doors before the big holiday season. 

The campaign has currently raised $2,820 of its $10,000 goal.

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Rent hike shutters fidi s mercedes cantina after 24 years