Chef Corey Lee’s Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant In Situ at SFMOMA has closed

Chef Corey Lee’s famed Michelin-starred restaurant In Situ, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has closed for good.

In a lengthy Instagram post made Wednesday, In Situ announced its closure after five years inside the museum. The restaurant was never meant to be a lasting fixture of SFMOMA, it wrote, though plans to shutter weren’t expected either.   

“Like a special meal or temporary exhibition, this restaurant project was not intended to be permanent,” In Situ wrote. “While we did not imagine finishing our run during a pandemic and extended closure, we are incredibly grateful for this partnership and proud of the unique experience we created together.”


In Situ opened the spring of 2016 at the ground floor of SFMOMA. Its menu was a collaborative effort where top and emerging chefs helped create diverse dishes from around the world. A 2015 press release from SFMOMA shared that In Situ would feature recipes by Bay Area chefs like Alice Waters and Thomas Keller, among others.

“I see this project as an extension of the museum’s larger mission — to present great works worldwide and make them accessible for greater public engagement,” chef Lee said in a statement in 2015. “In Situ will build appreciation for culinary traditions and hopefully encourage dialogue about our relationships to food, not unlike the way SFMOMA collects and cares for important works of art.”

In 2019, In Situ won its first and only Michelin star following a James Beard award in 2018 for best restaurant design. The celebrated restaurant also won several accolades throughout the years, including being listed among the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurants each year from 2017 to 2019.

Early on during the pandemic last year, In Situ announced on Instagram that it would close its doors with the intent to reopen two weeks later. Yet, like many fine-dining restaurants around the city, those plans never came to fruition and it remained closed for the duration of the pandemic.  

Lee also owns three-Michelin-star restaurant Benu, at 22 Hawthorne St., which remains open.



 

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