Quietly, and without explanation, the venerable Jasmine Tea House on Mission Street has shut down and the windows are covered with newspaper. Ex-POTUS Bill Clinton used to love the place:
From November, 2002:
Bill Clinton wasn’t going to fall victim to famine. In his room in the Fairmont Hotel, the former president had an aide call the Jasmine Tea House in the Mission for dinner one day and lunch two days later.
Owner Frank Xu, who got the first call, told TIC that when he was asked “Do you deliver to the Fairmont Hotel?” he refused, saying it was too far, “an hour round trip.” When he was asked if he’d do it for an ex-president, he changed his mind, although he was sure at first the call was a prank.
Xu, who came from China to the United States in 1986, owns the restaurant (with a few partners), voted for Clinton and delivered the meal personally. He was so surprised when he found Clinton waiting for the food in the presidential suite that he didn’t get to take a picture when the former president quickly shook his hand and accept the food. He returned a day after he delivered the second meal to take a snapshot and gave Clinton an antique Chinese teapot, a gift no doubt appreciated but not as much as the meals.
As to the menu, the president ate crispy beef, not spicy, and soup with fried wonton; his security guards were partial to the sesame chicken.
(Clinton Question: Is “crispy beef, not spicy” code for something smutty?)
Anyhow, Jasmine’s closure seems sudden, as the presence of some recent posters (“Run Ed, Run!”) in the windows suggest ongoing civic engagement and vitality. Rumor on the street was that Jasmine had shut down for a remodel, but there’s no explanatory sign on the door to tell what’s up.
Yet a posting on Craigslist confirms the business is for sale:
Fully Equipped Restaurant For Sale. – $120000 (bernal heights)
Date: 2011-08-18, 12:52PM PDT
Reply to: email@example.com
Fully Equipped Restaurant For Sale.
LOCATION : 3253 MISSION STREET Cross St: 29th Street – Lots of Foot Traffic
FEATURES : 1,500 SQ FEET — WELL ESTABLISHED RESTUARANT
LEASE : $3,200.00 PER MONTH (APPX.)
TERM : NEGOTIABLE
UPDATE: I put in a call to the realtors listed in the Jasmine Tea House post on Craigslist this morning, and they confirmed that the restaurant is permanently closed and the owners have put the business up for sale. So it goes.
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics