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Feds Force Private San Francisco Restaurant to Close Because of Shutdown


"The government is taking punitive action on a private business..."

A private San Francisco restaurant serving as a concessionaire of the National Park Service, was forced to close Wednesday night due to the federal government shutdown.

A message on the website for the Cliff House, a AAA three diamond-rated restaurant with stunning ocean and bay views, states it will "update (its) page as information is provided to us." That's all.

cliff house Cliff House lies within a federal park and has been forced to close during the shutdown. Even events like a wedding have been moved elsewhere. (Image Source: Cliff House/Facebook)

The restaurant is situated in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a park operated by the NPS. A concessionaire, according to Miriam Webster's dictionary, is "a person or business that has been given the right to sell something on property owned by someone else : a person or business that has been given a concession."

Its renovation from its 1909 structure is described as a "joint undertaking" by the restaurant owners, Dan and Mary Hountalas who have been its proprietors for 35 years, and the National Park Service, according to the Cliff House website.

TheBlaze reached out to the Cliff House for more information regarding the shutdown and its impact but did not hear back from the restaurant at the time of this posting.

cliff house Cliff House is one of the highest grossing restaurants in the San Francisco area. (Image source: Wikimedia)

As a result of this closure, KTVU-TV reported the restaurant has had to help people find different venues for weddings and other events planned for this weekend.

NPS spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet called the restaurant's closure "really sad" and "so counter to everything that the National Park Service does."

Coordinators "have worked tirelessly to find them a different place not affected by the shutdown," Picavet said.

In 2010, the establishment was named one of the area's top grossing restaurants in the area, earning $11.5 million in sales and serving 325,000 meals.

More than 200 federal employees in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are on furlough, according to Picavet.

In a similar case, a hotel with a concession on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is considered a National Parkway, was ordered to shut down as well, being located near Asheville, N.C.

pisgha inn restaurant Patrons in the Pisgah Inn restaurant. The owner at first defied government orders to close but has since ceased operation. (Image source: Pisgah Inn)

The Pisgah Inn was at first defying these orders, but Thursday proprietor Bruce O'Connell said on Facebook he "decided to cease operations" as a "resolution to the shut down becomes more of a distant promise every day."

"We regret the inconvenience and disappointment of our guests but we hope for their understanding," the Facebook post stated.

O'Connell's earlier pledge to defy the government shutdown drew more than 1,000 "likes" on the inn's Facebook page.

Tourists can still drive along the scenic, 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, but visitor centers, campgrounds and restrooms are off-limits.

October is the peak season for the area's vibrant fall foliage, and travelers such as Julie Andreacola of Indian Trail, North Carolina, book hotel rooms months in advance.

"The government is taking punitive action on a private business at the peak of their season," said Andreacola, who had weekend reservations at the inn. "It should not be permitted."

Reuters contributed to this report.

(H/T: PJ Media)


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