Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Breaking news:
Mecca shuts its doors


Mecca, seen here after it was closed for several months following a kitchen fire in 2007, shuttered its doors last week. Photo: Bill Wilson
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Owners of the swanky restaurant Mecca issued a statement January 22 that they were temporarily closing the popular Castro supper club's doors, located at 2029 Market Street. The owners blamed the current financial crisis as contributing to the restaurant's economic woes.

"Mecca restaurant closed ... as a result of the recent, very challenging business climate," CVP Holdings Inc., Mecca 's owners, said in the statement released by Andrew Freeman and Co, which has briefly handled Mecca's public relations, according to a representative at the firm. The representative, who didn't handle the account, requested not to be identified.

Marc Sittenfield, Mecca's general manager, didn't respond to attempts by phone and e-mail for a comment. An Andrew Freeman account representative didn't respond to a request for more information.

The popular Castro restaurant, which opened in 1996, had been going through another difficult economic time, Betty Sullivan, host of the popular Ladies' Night at Mecca for more than six years, said last March. At the time Sullivan was hired as Mecca's public relations consultant to revamp its image as a welcoming destination for quality entertainment, dining and socializing.

Mecca was still recovering from a kitchen fire in 2007 that shut down the restaurant for renovations for nearly five months, as was previously reported. The cost of the renovation wasn't disclosed. Mecca also went through a notable heavy rotation in staff changes in management, the kitchen, and public relations that didn't go unnoticed by customers.

To drive up business over the past few months, the restaurant had tried to start a monthly Saturday night party geared at gay men called Swank and brought in drag persona Donna Sachet, the Bay Area Reporter's social columnist, to do several dinner show nights. It also attempted to hold wine-tastings paired to special dinner menus to drum up sales.

It also had decided to end its relationship with Sullivan, who recently selected Orson for her new Ladies' Night destination. The SOMA restaurant is co-owned by out lesbian celebrity chef and Citizen Cake owner Elizabeth Falkner, and her life and business partner Sabrina Riddle. The grand opening of Ladies' Night at Orson will be February 5.

Mecca might not be completely passe, according to the statement CVP Holdings is looking at a variety of options.

"Mecca's owners intend to pursue all opportunities, which include but are not limited to the restaurant's restructuring and reopening or its sale," the owners said in the release.

A sale is possibly in negotiations, but nothing is certain, according to the spokeswoman.

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