Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on June 03, 2024
James Beard Chef to Close SF's Monsieur Benjamin after a Decade of French Culinary TraditionSource: Instagram / @mbenjamin

Modern French brasserie Monsieur Benjamin announced on Instagram that the restaurant will close its doors on June 29 after opening a decade ago in 2014. The restaurant, known for its contemporary twists on French classics, didn't reveal the reason behind the shuttering, as the SF Chronicle noted. Chef-owner Corey Lee also helms the acclaimed Benu.

Launched in July 2014 by Lee and chef Jason Berthold—formerly of RN74, The French Laundry, and Per Se—the 110-seat eatery boasted expansive views through floor-to-ceiling windows and served a menu packed with both small and large plates.

Reflecting on the restaurant's inception at the time leading up the opening, Lee recounted to Hoodline SF the whimsical appeal of the name, inspired by a bellhop's call heard in a Paris hotel, embodying both American and French characters.

Their Instagram post reflected on the devotion to scratch cooking and sourcing premium products akin to their fine-dining counterpart.

"The past decade has been filled with wonderful moments and warm memories that will last a lifetime," the post on Instagram read.

Despite past perks including a nod in 2017 as a James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: West and an outside dining area that excited early visitors, Monsieur Benjamin's curtain call turns the page on a chapter of San Francisco's gastronomic story.

While the Hayes Valley community may feel the loss, Lee's warm remembrances of serving the neighborhood and "a comforting restaurant for so much regulars" underscores the restaurant's intent to create lasting memories through food. The closure does come on the heels of a harassment lawsuit filed in 2017 by a former line cook, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was resolved when Berthold, the incumbent chef at the time, terminated the kitchen supervisor involved upon learning of the allegations. As Monsieur Benjamin prepares for its final service, Lee and his team urge patrons for one last visit to bid adieu to a restaurant that has been much more than just a culinary establishment in Hayes Valley.