Saturday, January 22, 2011
Tragically more than a decade after I took this picture on my way in for a delicious hamburger after a long flight, It’s Tops was killed, having survived 85 years in business, by Covid, like Gaylord’s Caffe Espresso. This is a huge loss for San Francisco. It was one of my favorite places. For more than a decade my schedule would take me out SFO for part of the week and on my return, driving back to Oakland, I always looked forward to stopping at It’s Tops for a welcome home Hamburger. Over the years I got to know the staff and some of the regulars, who were frequently colorful and diverse and entertaining.
It’s tops was family owned from the founding in 1935, It’s tops weathered wars and social upheaval and changing demographics and was an anchor of temporal stability. Walking in was like going back in time in decor and service and quality of food. Seeing the neon sign lit in the dark after a long trip would brighten a tired heart.