The Red Tea Detox

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Izakaya Sushi Ran, the Castro’s gastropub answer to the popular Sausalito restaurant Sushi Ran, has closed. Originally called Nomica when it opened in 2016, it changed names last fall and served izakaya-style small plates, mains, sushi rolls and cocktails.

A message on the restaurant’s website says the following:

“Dear friends,
After three years of operation in San Francisco, Izakaya Sushi Ran (formerly Nomica) is closing.
We appreciate all the kind support you have given to us over the past three years in the Upper Market/Castro community.
Thank you from all of us,
Izakaya Sushi Ran”

The abrupt closure comes just weeks after a social media controversy involving a rock placed in an alcove at the front of the restaurant, which was painted rainbow for LGBT Pride Month.

The Coalition on Homelessness originally identified the rock as anti-homeless architecture, designed to discourage homeless people from sleeping in front of the restaurant.


“When you wanna look inclusive but hate homeless people,” the organization captioned a photo of the rock on Twitter. The tweet racked up thousands of likes and retweets, but has since been deleted.



However, Izakaya Sushi Ran’s beverage director and bar manager Rhonda Richards clarified that the rock was intended to be part of a Japanese zen garden, and they painted it rainbow to show their support for and involvement in the community.

“The intention was to marry the two cultures of the Japanese garden tradition and the queer iconic flag,” said Richards. “We’ve never kicked anyone out. We support our community a lot.”

After the clarification, the Coalition on Homelessness apologized for calling the restaurant anti-homeless, saying they made an error:

It remains unclear whether the rainbow rock controversy had anything to do with the closure of Izakaya Sushi Ran.

According to a photo taken by Hoodline reporter Steven Bracco, a sign on the restaurant’s door reads:

“Thank you for being with us to celebrate 50 years, honoring and paying mad respect to all who sacrificed beyond measure to afford the foundation upon which our community stands. We had a blast partying with you!!! That said: the love you gave us was/IS inspiring!!!
GURRL… FABULOUSNESS IS BREWING!!!
STAY TUNED…
You’re not going to want to miss this!
#RainbowRockSF”


SFGATE reached out to Sushi Ran’s owners and manager for comment and will add to this story as more details are available.  

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