City Center Bishop Ranch is set to be down by one tenant following an announcement this week that Chow Food Bar -- which debuted in San Ramon last year, following the closure of a Danville location in 2018 -- will be shutting its doors.
The eatery is set to close its doors on Sept. 10, according to a message posted on the business' Facebook page on Monday after just over a year of operating in the City Center location that opened on Aug. 10, 2022.
"We have tremendous respect for Chef Tony Gulisano and his dedication to reviving Chow, as it undeniably brought something special to the East Bay and will be greatly missed," said Jeff Dodd, senior vice president of retail at City Center. "We wish him, and his team, the best."
The grand opening of the City Center location last year had been intended to symbolize the return of the restaurant's operations after shuttering the doors to all five of its previous locations -- including one in Danville that was in operation for a decade -- by 2019.
"City Center was a unique opportunity to create something special for everyone, including the animated younger generation that's so much part of the community," Chow founder Gulisano said in an announcement last year. "I designed Chow to be social and celebratory. I want it to be full of fun and laughter, with accessible, inviting food, a lively bar and a great little market."
The market component of the restaurant, offering a range of pre-packaged meals and artisan products, was a key portion of the San Ramon location, seeking to play off an idea that was first introduced at Chow's Lafayette location, which was the final Chow outpost to close in 2019. The company filed for bankruptcy the same year, marking the beginning of the restaurant chain's hiatus prior to resurfacing in City Center last year.
But in spite of the enthusiasm from Gulisano, Sunset Development officials and Tri-Valley diners over the return of the Bay Area restaurant chain in its new location, staff said in Monday's announcement that it had not quite sufficed to bring Chow back to its former glory.
"With your gracious support, we were almost there -- but we just ran out of time," Chow staff said in Monday's announcement. "The staff really loved hearing how excited everyone was to have us back, we loved seeing new and familiar faces. You all exceeded our hopes, and you continue to be a pleasure to serve."
They also emphasized gratitude for the open arms that City Center and its patrons had offered for their reopening effort over the past year, encouraging the latter to continue to support Chow's fellow tenants in the growing shopping center.
A spokesperson for City Center Bishop Ranch said that staff and officials would be considering next steps for the 6,907-square-foot space in the northwest corner of the shopping center in the coming weeks following Chow's departure on Sept. 10. Chow staff said in their closure announcement that they would provide prompt updates on social media should any plans change.