Coverage of the stalemate in Congress that forced the U.S. government to a standstill

San Francisco's Cliff House Closes in Government Shutdown

By DAN MCMENAMIN Bay City News
|  Friday, Oct 4, 2013  |  Updated 12:30 PM PDT
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Cliff House Closes in Government Shutdown

Cliff House, courtesy Curbed SF Flickr photog jrodmanjr

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San Francisco's famous Cliff House restaurant on Thursday joined other  popular attractions that closed as a result of the federal government  shutdown.

An employee answering the phone at the restaurant overlooking the  Pacific Ocean on the western end of the city said the business closed its  doors after Wednesday night because of the shutdown.

Because Congress failed to pass a budget by the end of the day on  Monday, all federal services deemed "non-essential" have been shut down until  an agreement is reached.

National Park Service spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said the Cliff  House had to close because it is a concessionaire with the park service.

Officials sought to get an exception to keep the restaurant  operating, but were denied and the business joined other local  concessionaires that are closed, including Alcatraz Cruises, which transports  people to the famous penitentiary, and the Warming Hut at Crissy Field,  Picavet said.

"It's really sad," she said. "It's so counter to everything that  the National Park Service does."

All national parks in the region have also closed because of the  shutdown, including Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point at the base  of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Picavet said a total of 209 federal employees in the Golden Gate  National Recreation Area have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown.

Despite the closure, Cliff House employees have worked to find  alternative sites for people who had planned a wedding and a couple other  special events at the restaurant this weekend, Picavet said.

"They have worked tirelessly to find them a different place not  affected by the shutdown," she said.

The Cliff House, located at 1090 Point Lobos Ave., has undergone  several incarnations due to fires after initially being built in 1858.

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