127-Year-Old Brewery Is Latest Business To Ditch San Francisco

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July 12, 2023

A nearly 130-year-old brewery is the latest business to call it quits in San Francisco, which is seeing businesses flee amid widespread crime and homelessness.

Anchor Brewing Company, which calls itself America's first craft brewery, is closing its doors in the city after first opening them in 1896. Its owners cited inflation and lingering pandemic impacts.

"The inflationary impact of product costs in San Francisco is one factor," spokesman Sam Singer said. "The impacts of the pandemic, inflation, especially in San Francisco, and a highly competitive market left the company with no option but to make this sad decision to cease operations."

Fleeing businesses is not a new phenomenon in the California city. Office vacancies in San Francisco hit a record high rate in the second quarter this year. Among the companies trying to ditch their office space in the struggling city this quarter were Uber, Airbnb, and Salesforce.

The vacancy rate hit 31.8 percent in the second quarter, which continues a three-year trend of the market's downturn. In just three months this year, 1.9 million square feet of office space was added to the market, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Many businesses have cited crime and homelessness in their decision to close up shop. Homicides in San Francisco have increased nearly 40 percent from 2020 to 2022 and deaths from fentanyl have spiked.

Old Navy announced in May it will close its flagship store. Whole Foods and Nordstrom have shuttered businesses in the city over safety concerns. The latter's exit is costing the city 380 jobs. The downtown area of the city has lost half of its businesses since the start of the pandemic.

Hotels across the city are also closing as they fail to recover like others have in comparable markets. Revenue per available room was 23 percent lower in April than during the same time in 2019, while hotels in New York City and Los Angeles are exceeding their 2019 metrics, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Published under: Crime , San Francisco