Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on December 06, 2019
Castro's Squat & Gobble to close after 22 years, change conceptsSquat & Gobble is converting to Bonita Taqueria y Rotisserie. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

After 22 years in business, the Castro location of cafe and creperie Squat & Gobble (3600 16th St., at Noe) is set to close.

But fans of the popular weekend brunch spot need not worry: owner Issa Sweidan is converting the space into an outpost of Squat & Gobble's five-year-old Marina sister restaurant, Bonita Taqueria y Rotisserie (2257 Chestnut St.)

Sweidan told Hoodline that after doing the math, he determined it was time for a change. "22 years was a good run," Sweidan said.

While the Castro outpost of Squat & Gobble is closing, the West Portal (1 West Portal Ave.) and Marina (2263 Chestnut St.) locations will remain.

Bonita at 2257 Chestnut St. | Photo: Ben G./Yelp

Over the past couple weeks, Castro residents may have noticed the remodeling work in progress. In the coming weeks, customers can expect new furniture, a fresh coat of paint and eventually a new menu. Sweidan explains that's all in preparation for the conversion to Bonita.

Sweidan was unsure of exactly when Bonita will officially open, but said it should be sometime in early 2020.

The addition of another Mexican restaurant in the Castro comes less than two weeks after El Capitan Taqueria opened in the former Zapata Mexican Grill space.

Rotisserie chicken at Bonita. | Photo: Bonita/Instagram

Bonita not only offers Mexican fare like tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos, but rotisserie chicken as well.

"It's going to be known for its rotisserie," said Sweidan.

Along with beer and wine, Bonita will also serve drinks like micheladas and sangrias.

Photo: Bonita/Instagram

Sweidan's son and co-owner, JJ Sweidan, said they're currently developing a new brunch menu for the space, which will likely be different from Squat & Gobble's.

Customers at Bonita can expect a more lively eating space, with Latin music playing during business hours. "I want that vibrant feel," JJ said.

The Marina locations of Bonita and Squat & Gobble share a patio, which is a popular spot with customers. JJ said he'd like to carry over a similar environment at the new Castro location.

Bonita and Squat & Gobble's patio space. | Photo: Bonita/Instagram

Sweidan also plans to open the rebranded restaurant for dinner, to take advantage of nighttime business and bring more foot traffic to the Castro.

"We're a big believer in the neighborhood, we're a part of it," said Sweidan about his desire to remain in the Castro.

Sweidan said the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and for brunch Friday through Sunday. However, if brunch proves popular, it could change to a daily occurrence.