SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Alioto’s — a mainstay of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf for almost a century — has opted not to renew its lease with the Port of San Francisco.

Randy Quezada, director of communications with the port, told KRON4 that the restaurant opted to end a 66-year lease it’d signed in 1970 early.

The reason: the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“Alioto’s entered a 66-year lease with the Port in 1970 and has long been a high performing tenant in good-standing,” Quezada stated. “Since closing its doors at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Alioto’s Restaurant has not paid rent on the restaurant property or the storage space it also leases. Alioto’s Restaurant engaged Port staff on the various options available and requested termination of the lease. If the Port Commission approves, the agreement will then proceed to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.”

Quezada called the closure “heartbreaking.”

“One of the oldest family-owned restaurants in San Francisco, Alioto’s drew thousands of visitors each month for its great food, amazing views of the water, history, and age-old family recipes,” Quezada stated. “Their contribution to the Port and the City will not soon be forgotten.”

The restaurant did not respond to a request for comment.

Nunzio Alioto, Sr. first opened Alioto’s as a fish stand in 1925. The Aliotos of Alioto’s restaurant are cousins of former Mayor Joseph Alioto (1968-76), and the restaurant is not to be confused with the Alioto-Lazio Fish Co., also on Fisherman’s Wharf.