Long Lines Form As Popular SF Restaurant Chain Reopens

It has been a long four months for fans of the San Francisco restaurant chain Souvla. The chain reopened two of its four locations this week for takeout orders after closing in March.

The casual Greek restaurant is known for its salads, which can come topped with french fries.

"The best way I would describe it is, it's like comfort food that’s not bad for you. Which is why I think the line is so large," said one man who was waiting in line at the Hayes Valley outpost.

The line Thursday went down the block and continued onto the next, with customers waiting about half an hour.

"Yesterday, I drove by to come and it was wrapped all the way around the park. And we were like, we’ll try again tomorrow. This is a much more reasonable line," said Kelsey. Part of the reason she was willing to stand in line was that she had already been waiting for months for the chain to open. 

She was not the only one. On the chain's opening day, the wait was up to two hours long with some people camping out in line before the restaurants opened. 

Founder and CEO Charles Bililies said in a statement that the digital system was inundated as well.

"Hundreds of orders were received in a very short time period each day, making it nearly impossible for us to keep up...some of you even camped out at 7 a.m. to beat the rush. No matter how much we tweaked our online ordering system over the past week, we couldn’t get it right."

Now, orders are fulfilled in person on a first come, first serve basis. 

"Definitely worth the line," said India, who waited for about half an hour to order. "I feel like Souvla is honestly just the best salad in the city."

"This was our second time waiting in line today," said another satisfied customer. "We just got dinner and now we're getting fro-yo."

As for why Souvla remained closed this long? Bililies said it was out of an abundance of caution, and he has been stunned and overwhelmed by how much the restaurant's signature salads were missed.