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After four years of successful operation, San Francisco’s only Top Round is closing its doors for good. Fortunately for Mission District foodies however, the restaurant will be shortly reborn into an entirely new concept, La Vaca Birria.
Founded by chef/owner Ricky Lopez, who also operated the Top Round franchise in San Francisco, La Vaca Birria began as a food truck in San Bruno that serves mouth-watering beef birria from a recipe that Lopez inherited from his grandfather in Guadalajara.
The new transition is a bittersweet moment for Lopez, who fondly recalls all the work hours put into Top Round and the loyal patrons who loved his food. According to Lopez, Top Round’s business model became too delivery-dependent to remain viable, especially after the recent pandemic completely changed the landscape for restaurants. Because of this, Lopez envisions his new restaurant as a casual sit-down space where patrons can gather and be comfortable.
To help accomplish this, the new La Vaca Birria location will feature a 20 draft beer system with rotating local selections. It will also feature specialty cocktails and margaritas made with agave wine for customers who want a little extra. These new amenities will help ensure that La Vaca Birria will remain a community staple for years to come, as customers will come for the beef and stay for the drinks and atmosphere.
This will be La Vaca Birria’s first brick-and-mortar location, and the sadness that locals feel at the closure of Top Round can only be remedied by the excitement that this new concept has to offer. Thankfully, people won’t have to wait for too long as the doors at 2962 24th Street are set to reopen August 18th. In the meantime, hungry birria-fans are encouraged to visit the San Bruno food truck, which will remain open.