Jasmine Tea House Shuts Down, Business Put Up For Sale

Jasmine Tea House

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:

DSC_9901

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: sale-bkj6g-2553787728@craigslist.org

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.

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22 thoughts on “Jasmine Tea House Shuts Down, Business Put Up For Sale

  1. FUCK!!!! This is a huge loss for La Lengua/Bernal. I’m honestly in shock. This place was seriously the best cheap chinese in the whole city. I can’t even count the number of times I ate there. To think that it will no longer be there when I’m craving for it… it leaves me with this empty feeling inside. :'(

    One thing to note though: I’m pretty sure it’s the same people that own Big Lantern on 16th St. between Guerrero & Valencia. The menu is pretty similar and they share some staff. I hope to god that place didn’t close too.

  2. Crapmonkeys! Seriously not happy. Yes, the same owners as Big Lantern, but sometimes you don’t want delivery… you want a big ass steaming bowl of soup…. at a table. Apparently Big Lantern extended their delivery area to accommodate… but still ….

  3. This was the best place for Chinese in Bernal / Mission. But as mentioned, I have also heard that one of the owners at at Shiso a few blocks up.

    • Can’t tel you how many times I’ve had that won-ton combo, even when I wasn’t hungover. It was my go-to dish when I was feeling sick. Bwaaaaah!

  4. I’ve called twice trying to order and have gotten the renovation message. I hung up the phone in sadness both times, but I always thought I’d be able to eat there again soon! I can’t believe it’s closed! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  5. Move away to Petaluma. Come to the city, pull up at Jasmine (no wonder there was parking right in front)Closed! Serious Bummer. The food was clean and fresh, not full of oil and corn starch. Hard to find like that. And Frank was a hoot. He always waited on my table. We joked around, had fun-it was only after a year of going there regularly that he let it slip that he was the owner. Great guy. Humble and hard working. I will miss him and The Jasmine.

  6. Maybe they gave away too much free fried rice. hell, i will pay for the fried rice if you just reopen. Sorry to see you go :((

    You were one of my guilty pleasures as I would order 2 dishes for myself PLUS the fried rice and eat it all.

    Good Fortune wherever you may go.

  7. Pingback: Jasmine Tea House Reopens | Bernalwood

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