San Francisco's only Olive Garden at Stonestown Galleria permanently closes

The Stonestown Olive Garden is now closed. Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
By Steven Bracco - Published on December 12, 2020.

Fans of Olive Garden's neverending pasta bowl will now have to travel outside San Francisco to enjoy the chain restaurant's casual Italian-American cuisine.

San Francisco's only Olive Garden (3251 20th Ave.) location, which for nearly two decades has soldiered on at the Stonestown Galleria, has permanently shuttered in yet another pandemic closure in the city. The restaurant's last day was December 5.

A sign on the window announces the closure. "We apologize for any inconvenience," the sign states. "We appreciate your business and hope to see you soon."

The Stonestown Olive Garden has been open since at least the early 2000s, an exact opening date is not available at this time. At one time, Olive Garden and Chevy's dominated this section of the mall, with Chevy's ultimately closing in 2012.

Sign posted outside Olive Garden at Stonestown Galleria. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


Founded in 1982, Olive Garden currently has approximately 892 locations and is headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

"Closing this restaurant is a difficult business decision, and I can promise you it’s one we made very carefully and thoughtfully, particularly because it impacts our team members and our guests," said Olive Garden spokesperson Meagan Bernstein.

"In no way does this reflect on the quality of our team members’ work, and we’re doing everything we can to help our team members," added Bernstein.

According to Bernstein, every Stonestown Olive Garden employee was offered to join nearby locations or other Darden restaurants. If they choose not to transfer to another location they will receive severance.

"We continually evaluate the performance of all of our restaurant locations, and this decision was made as part of that process," said Bernstein. "Unfortunately, from time-to-time we have to close restaurants."

Inside the now vacant Stonestown Olive Garden. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


The closure comes as indoor dining was closed in San Francisco on Monday after Mayor London Breed preemptively adopted California's regional stay-at-home order.

Olive Garden customers looking for another location will have to travel far outside the city's boundaries. Olive Garden currently has eight Bay Area locations including Fremont, Hayward, Antioch, Milpitas, Vallejo, Rohnert Park, and two locations in San Jose.

Despite Olive Garden often being the victim of jokes about its questionable authentic Italian cuisine, a 2012 review by Grand Forks Herald restaurant critic Marilyn Hagerty went viral. The then 85-year old Hagerty wrote, "the chicken Alfredo was warm and comforting on a cold day," about the new location in Grand Forks, North Dakota. "The portion was generous."

Now at 94, Hagerty continues her weekly restaurant reviews and was featured in The New York Times this week discussing how's she's adapted during the pandemic.

Inside the Stonestown Olive Garden. | Photo: Adrean Ye/Instagram


Many fans of the Stonestown Olive Garden took to Twitter and Instagram to lament the loss of the restaurant sharing stories and memories of the restaurant.

"I’m so sad this is my last meal from Olive Garden Stonestown," wrote Honey on Olive Garden's last day.

"Like 2020 couldn’t get any worst, they closed the Olive Garden at Stonestown," said Natalie.

"They took away the only Olive Garden nearby at Stonestown," said Brian. "It's been shut down, 2020 I'm ready to effing fight you."

"RIP Stonestown Olive Garden," wrote Max. "Fuck you COVID."

Olive Garden's closure comes as Stonestown Galleria has gone through something of a renaissance in recent years. Longtime anchor store Macy's departed in 2018 and Nordstrom's closed in 2019.

Construction on the former Macy's site is currently underway with plans for a Regal Cinemas multiplex, Whole Foods, and Sports Basement. Target quickly snapped up the former Nordstrom's space and is currently expanding.

Food options have also expanded with the addition of Marugame Udon, Gram Cafe & Pancakes, Rooster & Rice, Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea, and 85 C Bakery Cafe

About 5 hours ago
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

Castro cannabis retailer Flore Store announces 4/20 opening & mural competition

The Castro's newest cannabis retailer Flore Store (258 Noe St.) has announced its grand opening on 4/20 — across the street from Flore a.k.a. Cafe Flore. Read More

About 11 hours ago
San Francisco Outer Sunset

DamnFine debuts in the Outer Sunset with wood-fired pizzas, Italian wines

The pandemic has cemented our love affair with comfort foods — chief among them pizza and to-go cocktails. DamnFine (3410 Judah Street), one of the newest restaurants to grace the Outer Sunset, is intent on being a one-stop destination for all that and more. Read More

Jan 26, 2021
San Francisco

Girls Scout Cookie season is here, but don’t expect in-person sales

The Girls Scouts of Northern California will not do-si-do with their normal cookie sale booths during the pandemic, but tag along as we show you how to buy Girls Scout Cookies online in the Bay Area. Read More

Jan 25, 2021
San Francisco Castro

Castro Theatre's massive new hybrid organ may get installed in time for cinemas to reopen

The new hybrid digital/pipe organ that has been in the works for the grand Castro Theatre for about six years is finally about to become a reality, and depending on how long it takes to ship from Pennsylvania and how long it takes for movie theaters to safely reopen in San Francisco, it may arrive just time for the Castro's next public screenings. Read More