San Mateo’s Vault 164 restaurant closes permanently

It was a restaurant that appealed to both foodies and fans of historic preservation.

Vault 164, a circa 1925 bank that had been transformed into a downtown San Mateo dining destination eight years ago, has closed permanently.

“We’re a COVID casualty, I’m afraid,” owner Brad Goldberg said. “We were doing just OK, surviving on PPP funding.”

But that money was running out, and there was a buyer in the wings, so Goldberg decided to sell and shut down.

Since 2012, the restaurant had served a menu of modern American farm-to-table cuisine — the Brussels sprouts chips were the must-order appetizer — with an emphasis on grilled meats and an extensive bar program.

“Aww, so very sad to learn of your closing,” customer Cathy Ross Rafii wrote on Facebook. “We loved going there and enjoying your atmosphere, bartenders and food. Wishing you all the best in your next venture. Thank you for being a wonderful neighborhood bar/restaurant all these years!”

In his farewell note, Goldberg thanked his customers, his employees, executive chef Gerardo Garcia, manager Jessica Alesna and mentor Dennis Berkowitz of the Max’s restaurant group.

“I have been fortunate to have made so many friends and forged great relationships that will last long after the restaurant is closed,” he wrote. “I have been doing this a long time and have always known that nothing lasts forever, but if I have any sadness, it is here: Gerardo Garcia and I started our management careers for Dennis Berkowitz and Max’s on the same day in 1988. To put it simply, he’s the best!”

That trio had also been responsible for opening Billy Berk’s, a popular restaurant in downtown San Jose, in 2008.

An announcement hasn’t been made about the new San Mateo tenants, but they will inherit a restaurant space with a strong architectural pedigree.

The Beaux Arts edifice designed by William M. Weeks was a Crocker bank for decades and, after that, a billiards hall. The restaurant renovation added modern touches and drew attention to the bank’s impressive neoclassical columns. The clever preservationist touches: The vault door was mounted horizontally in an entry wall, and its 500-pound black hinges hang nearby. The original depository drop safe was transformed into the host station.

Details: 164 South B St., San Mateo

Source: mercurynews
San Mateo’s Vault 164 restaurant closes permanently