- Just For You Cafe, the San Francisco joint that inspired “Bob’s Burgers,” has closed its doors.
- The local favorite operated for 43 years, before the pandemic and inflation forced it to shutter.
- But its legacy will live on through the popular cartoon, which modeled its titular restaurant after the cafe.
While the Belcher family of “Bob’s Burgers” will continue slinging burgers through at least 2025, the restaurant that inspired the hit cartoon just closed its doors.
Just For You Cafe in San Francisco shuttered earlier this week, ending a 43-year stint as a local favorite and popular brunch spot in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood, the company announced on Facebook. The restaurant, in addition to its status as a local institution, influenced the creation of the animated sitcom, which has now aired for 13 seasons.
“The long and short of it is that we really haven’t been making money since COVID, and it’s just been kind of a battle,” cafe owner Reid Hannula told SFGate, a local news outlet.
According to SFGate, the restaurant closed after rising inflation and mounting debt brought the establishment to its knees.
“I used a disaster loan to float us, personal money to float us,” Hannula said. “The restaurant, I love the restaurant, but it hadn’t been able to pay me for the last two years.”
The restaurant first opened as Mabel’s Just For You Cafe in 1980, then located in a different neighborhood. It was later bought in 1990, and the new owners dropped “Mabel’s” from the name in 2002.
Hannula, who began working at the restaurant in 2011, took over in 2018, according to SFGate.
“The first year was fantastic. Then everything went downhill from there,” he told the outlet.
The spot was known as a cozy haunt for people of all backgrounds and professions, from nurses and families to tech workers.
In the mid-aughts, “Bob’s Burgers” creator Loren Bouchard and writer Nora Smith wandered around San Francisco, searching for inspiration for the setting of their developing cartoon. In an interview with SFGate, Bouchard said he took photos all around San Francisco, but nothing quite matched Just For You.
“I looked in the window and saw something big,” he told SFGate last year. “Like, bolt of lightning big.”
Now, even as the iconic cafe closes its doors, it will be forever immortalized through the tiny burger joint home to the cartoon family of Bob and Linda Belcher, and their kids Louise, Gene, and Tina.
“Just For You is now permanently closed,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook. “Thank you to all of our customers for years of support and amazing experiences.”