Oldest Continuously Operating Business

Published: January 5th 2022
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From Slate: If you want to be in business for a long time, you should choose an industry that’s going to last. Since Kongo Gumi is in the business of building Buddhist temples, it has managed to sustain operations in Japan since 578 CE. Headquartered in Osaka, the company was founded by a Korean immigrant commissioned to build a temple in Japan by Prince Shotoku. That engineer went on to found his own company, Kongo Gumi, which spent the next several centuries constructing countless temples.In 2006, Kongo Gumi was acquired by construction conglomerate Takamatsu following a downturn in the overall Japanese economy, so there are some doubts about whether it can still truly be considered the oldest continuous business. However, it can still boast a pretty incredible corporate resume — the Takamatsu website cites that “Kongo-Gumi boasts more than 1,400 years of corporate history working exclusively on temples and shrines architecture.” Today, you can find numerous temples that Kongo Gumi has built and restored throughout Japan. If you have doubts about the Kongo Gumi's oldest status and are looking for the second oldest continuously running business in the world, you’ll find that in Japan as well — Nishiyama Onsen Keiunkan, a hot springs and hotel, has been serving weary travelers and tourists in need of pampering since 705 CE.So, here is the big question. Did Kongo Gumi build the Buddhist temple in Nagoya that my Grandfather's father started? I intend to find the temple on my next visit to Nagoya.Then I saw this from Insider:Sobrino de Botín is famous for being the oldest continuously operated restaurant on the planet, its famous clientele, and its roasted suckling pig. But is worth the fame, or just another tourist trap?
On a recent trip to Spain, I decided to make a reservation at Sobrino de Botín, or as local madrileños still refer to its original name, "Casa Botín."

Given its famous reputation, Botín is in just about every guidebook to Madrid. Aside from being nearly 300 years old, the four-floor Botín has seen its fair share of famous diners. Writers, world leaders, and visiting dignitaries have all stuck their forks in the restaurant's famed roasted suckling pig.

In the second half of the 18th century, a young Francisco Goya was a dishwasher here. Ernest Hemingway was such a regular when he was in Madrid covering the Spanish Civil War (and after), that the owners affectionately called him, "Don Ernesto."

In fact, he had a table on the second floor where he would spend hours writing at his typewriter while eating intermittent snacks from the kitchen (and drinking lots of wine, of course). Owner Emilio González once let Hemingway try to cook paella in the kitchen. It didn't go well. The chef advised him to keep his day job.

I think the business is Japan is older.

Oldest in San Francisco (per SF Chronicle): The owners of Tadich Grill, generally considered the oldest restaurant in San Francisco, have big plans to memorialize Jan. 6, 2021. Like many Americans, it's a date they say they'll never forget. Unlike many Americans, it's one they're commemorating as Dave Portnoy Day.

Yes, it's been one whole year since Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, gave Tadich Grill a portion of the Barstool Fund, a $42 million pot for businesses that have struggled financially during the pandemic.

“Tadich Grill and its employees were recipients of this selfless effort, and we are forever indebted to this amazing man,” reads the Instagram announcement.

SFGATE reached out to Tadich Grill’s owners, Mike and Yvette Buich, to learn more about their decision to honor Portnoy on Jan. 6, now and forevermore better known as Dave Portnoy Day. We wanted to ask all of the following: Why the Ulysses S. Grant-esque portrayal of Portnoy on a customized menu? Do they remember what else happened on Jan. 6? Have they Googled “Dave Portnoy?”
Yes, I have dined there many times in the past, but probably not in the last 25 years. My first time would have been in the early 1970s. It is "old San Francisco" as its best, with booths, tables and counter service. The booths even have drapes for privacy!


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