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Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen to close for good after 14 years in the Mission

Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen to close for good after 14 years in the Mission
Photo: David C./Yelp
By Alisa Scerrato - Published on August 21, 2020.

After 14 years in business, Pica Pica Arepa Kitchen is closing at 401 Valencia St. on Sunday, August 30. 

Owner Adriana López Vermut announced the closure in an email to customers.

"We are grateful for so many things and for all of the people that entered our lives through Pica Pica,” she wrote. 

Specializing in Venezuelan comfort food like arepas (grilled corn pockets stuffed with various fillings), Pica Pica appeared on Guy Fieri's Food Network show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" in 2013.

Last year, industry publication Restaurant Hospitality placed Pica Pica on its "Best Sandwiches in America" list, awarding the title of "best beef sandwich" to its pabellón arepa. 

Pulled pork arepa. | Photo: Dan F/Yelp

López Vermut had been active in the community since the beginning of the pandemic, providing 30,000 free meals to doctors, nurses, at-risk communities and the homeless over the course of three months. 

In her email, she said that the closure will affect 14 employees, with an average tenure of four and a half years at Pica Pica.

"We have an incredible group of hard-working, honest, dedicated people who became family," she said. "I am so proud of them and so sad to let them down.”

However, it's possible that the brand could return in some fashion post-pandemic.

"My mind and heart remain open to new possibilities," López Vermut wrote. "I don’t know what that might be, but I do believe there’s something special that could manifest in new ways in the future."