Brief History of Sears Fine Food

Sears was founded in 1938 by Hilbur and Ben Sears. Ben Sears was a retired circus clown, who over the years, built a reputation for serving Swedish pancakes made from a recipe inherited from his wife’s Swedish family.
By the early ’50s, Sears was purchased by Mrs. Quita Benner. When Mrs. Benner bought the restaurant from Hilbur and Ben, she left the name and the menu intact and continued with the tradition already established by the Sears family.

 

The original location for Sears Fine Food was on the 500 block of Powell Street . It then seated approximately 70 people, having about 16 tables. Sears was celebrated for the novelty of its Cadillac waiting room; the owners used to park two pink Cadillacs in front with the heaters and radios on to shelter the waiting crowds.

Over the years, the popularity of Sears continued to increase and Mrs. Brenner, with the help of her son-in-law, Al Boyajian, knew that they would have to find a larger building to accommodate all of their customers. In 1964, Al Boyajian convinced his in-laws to purchase the building at 439 Powell Street, about a half block down from the original location. Al and his son, Lee, worked together maintaining the standard of the prior years.

The third generation Lee Boyajian, and his wife Joanie, carried on the family tradition of a world-famous San Francisco institution, Sears Fine Food, until it shut its door on Christmas 2003.

When the nearby Loris Diner learned that the beloved San Francisco tradition, Sears Fine Food was closing, they decided to do their best to save the institution and keep the 18 Swedish pancakes coming. After extensive renovations, Sears Fine Food re-opened its doors in August of 2004 to the delight of locals and visitors throughout the world.

Enjoy your visit and thank you for choosing to become part of the legend.

Our business practices…
support local farmers and their fresh produce
engage in sustainable, eco-friendly business
support local communities and charitable organizations