3 stalled Sunset eateries struggle to open

The closed KFC/Taco Bell  may re-open as a Vietnamese restaurant. | Photos: Saul Sugarman/Hoodline
By Saul Sugarman - Published on February 25, 2020.

The Sunset has gotten some new restaurant additions over the past month, from a dessert eatery to a new Indian spot.

But our investigations into the neighborhood's food scene also led us to several proposed businesses that appear to be delayed, or otherwise stuck in development hell. Three of them happen to be located on a small stretch of Irving Street, between 20th and 23rd avenues.

Here's a look at what might be moving in, and why it's taking so long.

Abandoned KFC/Taco Bell (1900 Irving St.)

In 2016, the KFC/Taco Bell location on the corner of 20th & Irving quietly closed up, with a KFC spokeswoman saying road work nearby was hampering sales.

We spotted a “leased” sign on the building and, through public records, found Charles Chan, a contractor attached to the project.

The new tenants were hoping to open a Vietnamese restaurant, but no progress has been made on it “for months,” Chan said. Contact information for the restaurant owners was not available.

Inside the abandoned KFC/Taco Bell.

Currently, the building sits vacant, with its interior torn up. Brown paper haphazardly covers its windows, some of which are partially shattered and broken. A city permit taped to one window says work can be completed through August 2020.

1011 Sip Tea (2127 Irving St.)

1011 Sip Tea that planned to open in December.

Despite a window sign saying it would open in December 2019, tea shop 1011 Sip Tea hasn't made any movement towards opening its doors.

Though it has no other U.S. locations, 1011 Sip Tea appears to have outposts in Canada and possibly Malaysia. We emailed the address listed in the window and messaged the company's Facebook page, but did not receive a response.

Super Pan/E Tea (2045 Irving St.)

Over at 2045 Irving St., a two-in-one eatery has struggled to open for quite some time.

Super Pan is a teppanyaki restaurant with a location in the Richmond District, while bubble tea shop E Tea has locations in Chinatown, the Richmond, and in Sacramento.

Next door at Uncle Benny Donut & Bagel, an employee told Hoodline that the restaurant has been a work in progress for two years. She added that she thought it was a permitting issue that’s holding the location up.

But it looks like things might be changing. Here's the shop on January 31:

Stalled Super Pan and E Tea location.

Just a few weeks later, on Feb. 17, the location had a new front door, new glass and a "Coming Soon and Hiring" sign:

New door and "coming soon" sign at Super Pan and E Tea location.

Neither Super Pan nor E Tea replied to Hoodline’s questions about what’s holding them up, but we'll continue to keep an eye on the space. 

Know more about what's going on with these stalled businesses, or want us to look into a stalled space in your neighborhood? Text Hoodline at (415) 200-3233 and we'll investigate.

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