Bidinflation Burger: Inflation Causes Café Inspiring ‘Bob’s Burgers’ To Close


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Inflation is no nothing-burger.

The restaurant inspiring the popular television show “Bob’s Burgers” went out of business after more than 40 years of operation.

Just For You Café in San Francisco permanently closed Monday due to rising food prices and pandemic-related debt, according to SFGATE.

Known for its New Orleans-style beignets and home-baked bread, the iconic eatery opened in 1980 on 18th Street in Potrero Hill. Long before Dogpatch was considered a trendy location, Arienne Laundry bought the breakfast joint from its original owners and moved it to the neighborhood.

Reid Hannula, an employee of the restaurant since 2011, replaced Laundry after she retired in 2018.

Following a flawless first year as owner, however, Hannula began to experience problems. (RELATED: Noma, Restaurant Voted Best In The World, Announces Its Closing)

Polluted air caused by the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history, and a trench in front of the café, similar to the sinkhole centric to “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” stifled business for two sequential years. Recovery was interrupted when COVID-19 struck in January 2020.

“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,” Hannula said. “I used a disaster loan to float us, personal money to float us. The restaurant, I love the restaurant, but it hadn’t been able to pay me for the last two years.”

“Bob’s Burgers” is an animated comedy television series featuring the Belchers, a family of five. Parents Bob and Linda and their children, Tina, Gene and Louise, engage in slice-of-life adventures as they work at a burger restaurant inspired by the café.

Illustrator Sirron Norris photographed several San Francisco restaurants before finding the Just For You Café, which served up more than a suitable meal. Inspired by its interior, Norris immortalized the design of the café in his design of the show’s setting.

Hannula was unaware of his restaurant’s influence, but became a fan of the show as soon as he found out because of its portrayal of a family-run mom-and-pop shop.

“It was a total surprise, but we’re absolutely over the moon about it,” Hannula said. “My son was helping me out with dishes when he could barely reach the sink, and they were always running around the restaurant. There’s a comfort in those similarities.”