The Transamerica Building was sold for $700 million just before the pandemic, and the buyer, New York-based real estate developer SHVO, also bought a few adjacent buildings. One of these was the nearby 505 Washington Street, whose ground floor is the 38-year-old legacy business Sai’s Vietnamese restaurant. And since SHVO’s plan is to raze that building, Sai’s Vietnamese was informed they were losing their lease in February 2022.
Truly awful. Thanks to @sfgate reporting + elevating the plight of Inmy Chi. I've now been able to connect with Inmy as a result of @SusyGuerrero3 help, and my team and I are working on resources to help where we can.— Aaron Peskin (@AaronPeskin) February 1, 2022
First up: nominating Sai's to the Legacy Business registry! https://t.co/S1FcwQd3Ji
Sai's was only given 30 days to leave, which created some uproar, though SHVO reconsidered that and said they would help Sai’s find a new location. And the San Francisco Business Times reported Wednesday that Sai’s Vietnamese has found its new home, just two blocks away at the Bask restaurant location at 42 Columbus Avenue (at Jackson Street).
"All the credit goes to Supervisor Peskin, and our customers, the public," Sai’s owner Charles Vong said this week. "Peskin spearheaded this and that's when we were heard."
Finding a new spot for our friends at Sai's Vietnamese Restaurant took longer than we thought but worth the wait.— Aaron Peskin (@AaronPeskin) May 24, 2023
Thanks to @shvo for sticking w/ the negotiations to help relocate this @SFOSB Legacy Business in NorthBeach/FiDi/Jackson Square.
Vong also acknowledged SHVO, who did make some accommodations to ensure the survival of Sai’s. The Business Times reports that SHVO is “forgiving a little over a year's worth of rent at the current 505 Washington St. location.” The paper also adds that SHVO will lend Sai’s $350,000 “in the form of a forgivable loan if Sai's moves out of its current home before Oct. 1.” That seems like both a carrot and a stick, as Sai’s is being required to vacate with a deadline.
It’s unclear whether the tapas restaurant Bask is still open, or has closed. The Business Times did not get a response from the restaurant, and Bask’s most recent Yelp review says “Their website read they were opened but it was closed to my surprise.”
The new location has a bar, and more space for Sai’s to expand its catering operation. As such, at the new location Sai’s will be changing its name to Sai's Vietnamese Restaurant & Bar.