It’s impossible and unthinkable to imagine a San Francisco without the Tadich Grill, the famous Financial District restaurant that is 171 years old and has been around longer than the Statue of Liberty. The luxury seafood destination has been closed through most of the pandemic, but they refused to lay off any of their famously white-jacketed staff. A GoFundMe campaign has helped keep the restaurant from going under, and we’d give just about anything to ensure the Tadich Grill remains a part of San Francisco.
But that claim is being put to the test. The Chronicle reports that Tadich Grill is on the receiving end of a generous $31,000 per month grant from a relief fund run by the website Barstool Sports. The Chronicle referred to Barstool Sports as “controversial,” which is putting it diplomatically for a website that maintains a running joke for rating the attractiveness of female teachers alleged to have abused underage students, its weaponized harassment of women journalists, and launching a literal traveling rape joke tour in 2013. When reached by Variety in June over a series of racist videos, Barstool Sports founder and co-owner Dave Portnoy was unapologetic, saying “You don’t cancel me, I cancel you.”
Tadich Grill co-owner Mike Bulich’s daughter says the family was not aware of any unseemly background with the site. “There’s no room for racism and racist comments,” Melanie Pipas told the Chronicle. “Wherever in his heart he had the ability to make a meaningful difference for small businesses, he’s doing that, and for that we’re grateful.”
And the restaurant ownership wonders whether they could survive without the grant.
"The Barstool fund is a lifeline," co-owner Yvette Buich told the paper. "It does not cover the mounting bills that we have accumulated since we were forced to close in March, but it will help with just the basics in owning a restaurant in the city. The timing could not have been better since all other sources of money are gone or have stopped."
The cash is from the Barstool Fund, a $20 million charitable donation pool that’s gone out to some 90 restaurants nationwide, mostly on the East Coast. It is perhaps part of an image rehab effort after Barstool Sports’ splashy 2020 acquisition by a casino company giving the site a $450 valuation. And if they end up savings restaurant as iconic as Tadich Grill, the image rehab may work to some degree.