The 16-year run of Mission brewpub Monk’s Kettle is coming to an end on 16th Street, but they’re moving to a larger spot in Oakland’s Rockridge. And they’ve got choice words for the role delivery apps played in their SF location’s demise.

It’s not the case of another San Francisco craft beer destination biting the dust. but more a story of them leaving SF for Oakland. Eater SF was early with the news that popular craft beer pub Monk’s Kettle was closing their Mission location, effective this summer. But if it’s any consolation, they’ve secured a new and bigger location already lined up in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood, slated for a fall opening.



“After 16+ years, our time in The Mission will be coming to a close this summer. The Monk’s Kettle will be moving to College Ave in Rockridge, Oakland,” the tavern announced in a Tuesday Facebook post. “The plan is to stay open through June in SF, then move everything over to Oakland and open there hopefully in September.”

Monk’s Kettle has also posted a more detailed description of the new Rockridge location. “The business will be moving its original location from 16th Street in the Mission to 5484 College Ave,” they say. “We will be taking over the space that formerly held Citron, next to À Côté, two blocks south of the Rockridge BART station.”

They add that the new Rockridge location will be larger, and with a roofed back deck with seating for up to 30 people.

The San Rafael Monk’s Kettle location will continue operating and not be affected.  

And boy, does Monk’s Kettle owner Christian Albertson let loose in an essay decrying delivery apps, and the role they’ve played in the demise of the SF Monk's Kettle. Realize that Monk’s Kettle opened in 2007, not long after the release of the original iPhone, which in turn led to the dawn of the shut-in, delivery app economy.

“For the first 9 years of our tenure, our kitchen was open until 1am every night, and we’d be kicking people out at 2am. Back then, we would get a second dinner rush at 10 or 11pm when industry folks got off work and would join us for a post-shift drink and meal. Many of the region's current industry leading chefs and sommeliers spent their afterhours in our little space. Nowadays, an 11pm closing often feels too late.”
“The phenomenon of delivery encapsulates a variety of issues with running a restaurant in SF at present. The person who is currently represented by that delivery meal, in the past would have sat at the bar with a friend, had a drink or two, shared an [appetizer] and had a meal. Nowadays, instead of the 1 or 2 drinks and a meal (times two), it’s one entree, with 20% of that revenue going to a company that delivers that meal a half hour later. Never mind that the entire experience of The Monk’s Kettle has now been transformed from a welcoming place where you hang out with friends in a fun atmosphere...to eating a lukewarm burger and fries in your apartment... That unfortunate aspect aside though, it’s also absolutely wrecked the finances of the industry. We can focus on the $100K+ that we paid in delivery fees last year (really, insane), but that only reflects a fraction of the lost revenue.”

These points are well-made, and correct. But there’s also a reality that the craft beer crowd has gotten 17 years older since 2007. And the younger demographic has not replaced them, being more inclined toward fads like hard seltzers, abstaining from alcohol, and staying home to just watch streaming. The older craft-brew crowd, meanwhile, is more likely to be raising a family now, and may have forgone their beer nights for more family-friendly meals — though, of course, there are still beer fans among today's younger set.

A larger, more food-focused Monk’s Kettle in the East Bay is probably a shrewd right-sizing of the business. And we wish them the best in Rockridge. But to SF’s Mission District, the loss of Monk's Kettle reminds us that nightlife is a different kettle of fish than it used to be.

Related: Dogpatch's Harmonic Brewing to Shut Down This Fall, Stop Brewing Beer [SFNews]

Image: The Monk’s Kettle. via Yelp