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Feb 12, 2013 07:52 PM

Used Restaurant Equipment?

I'm searching for a tall rolling bun pan rack, some sheet pans (18x26"), Maybe a commercial sink (2 wells with drainboards), and some other real cooking stuff. It's for my home, but as an experienced pro, I can't deal with most of the stuff that kitchen stores pawn off as "professional style." (personal pet peeve: those commercial "style" stoves that cost 5 figures but don't have any more punch than a high-end Kenmore drop-in. Pure vanity, no substance)
Any leads to closing restaurants, used bakery goods stores, tantalizing piles of rusty stuff behind a warehouse.
I'm aware of the auction of Il Fornaio's stuff in Burlingame on 2/21, but that's a workday.

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  1. Well, if you want industry stuff, it generally gets sold on "workdays". You can't have it both ways.

    Used restaurant equipment:

    search "NSF" on craigslist.

    Economy/Trimark (7th & Irwin, SF, open Saturdays!): the used stuff is toward the rear left.

    Charyn auctions: (23rd & Folsom, SF)

    The main difference betw a commercial stove and home stove is that a restaurant stove is not insulated.

    Also, a commercial sink has 3 compartments, not 2. If you drive by Charyn, you'll see them piled 12 deep outside. They seem to have a glut of large stainless things currently, getting rained on.

    18 Replies
    1. re: waldito

      "Also, a commercial sink has 3 compartments, not 2."
      Apparently not always and not at the kitchen where I work.

      1. re: wolfe

        Or I, we have one 2 compartment sink and two 1 compartment sinks.

        1. re: chefj

          Well, guys, I stand by what I said. I think "commercial sink" implies a 3 compartment sink.

          If we're going to get all detail-y, this is what code requires (at least in SF, but I imagine it's the same in all California counties):

          • 3 compartment sink: wash, rinse, sanitize
          • deep 1 compartment sink (aka 'produce sink')
          • hand sink (no, you cannot wash your hands in the previous 2)
          • mop sink

          Additionally, the produce sink must have an air gap to drainage (don't want sewage backing up in your lettuce), so that means a floor sink, which makes 5 (not according to your inspector, but certainly according to your plumbing contractor).

          And there's our health dept lesson for the day. Next up: fire code! Ha. Anyway, I only mention this since, of those 4 or 5 sinks, it's the 3-compartment that is only seen in restaurants/bars. So I think it's reasonable for 'commercial sink' to mean that.

          1. re: waldito

            Then the deep 1 compartment sink described is not "commercial"? Nor are the deep 2 compartment sinks seen in the link. I think OP is referring to the deep stainless sinks usually seen in commercial establishments and not the porcelain sinks seen in most homes. But what do I know since this is about food?

            1. re: wolfe

              You can get a commercial grade sink in any configuration.

              You can't operate commercially with only a 2 compartment sink.

              1. re: sugartoof

                You can if you have a Dishwasher.
                A 3 compartment Sink is only a requirement for the Dish Station.

                1. re: chefj

                  In San Francisco?

                  I don't believe a dishwasher is an exemption from any basic requirements. That requirement isn't about dishwashing, it's a basic requirement for handling food. You need sinks compartmentalized for certain tasks without cross contamination, so most people opt for units with multiple compartments over individually plumbing multiple sinks. A lot of restaurant workers have never dealt directly with getting signed off by the the board of health, and I know I haven't either, but I do know the process, and Waldito's post above strikes me as accurate.

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    3 compartment sinks have nothing to do with cross contamination. The are for Washing, Rinsing and Sanitizing Plates, Table and Cooking wares. If you have a Sink in your Dish Area it is supposed to be a triple Sink.
                    Sinks for other purposes do not have to be 3 compartment.
                    Hand Sinks and Mop sinks are required for their specific purposes.

                    1. re: chefj

                      "Sinks for other purposes do not have to be 3 compartment."

                      You can read the posted info above listing the requirements. The reason people opt for 3 compartments is it's easier than individual sinks, and you can't have one big troth.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        What are you talking about?
                        All the OP(be a while ago) said was they wanted a 2 compartment Sink for home not for a Restaurant.
                        Code specifies a 3 compartment Sink is required for ware washing. Not for any of the other Sinks in the establishment. As noted by Waldo in the second post(along with the unbased" I think "commercial sink" implies a 3 compartment sink.")
                        Waldo's response included "Also, a commercial sink has 3 compartments, not 2" which is not true and what I responded to.
                        As for ease of use how is a 3 compartment Sink easier to use than a single compartment? and for what purpose?

                        1. re: chefj

                          "Not for any of the other Sinks in the establishment."

                          If there are other sinks.

                          The 3 compartment isn't just for "ware washing", in fact that's extremely misleading since you're not allowed to "ware wash" in all three compartment, it simply meets a minimum requirement for food prep and retail in one convenient unit. You can have 3 individual sinks if you like.

                          1. re: sugartoof

                            You do not need a 3 Compartment Sink for Food Prep.
                            What would be the reason?

                            1. re: chefj

                              This is getting silly. Go consult the health department.
                              No restaurant in SF operates with just one sink and a dishwasher.

                              1. re: sugartoof

                                If you know the code you are talking about what is it?
                                I work in Commercial Kitchens and I can tell you a 3 compartment Sink is not a requirement. I have worked in Restaurants in SF and Marin that do not have a 3 compartment Sink. They were all regularly inspected and passed. I work in one now that does not have one.
                                What is your experience in operating Commercial Kitchens?

                                1. re: chefj

                                  We're talking about building and getting signed off on one, not operation.

                                  We agree that there's no law requiring an exact model, or specific sink configuration, so I hope that makes you feel better. Obviously, anyone building a commercial kitchen should consult with the appropriate resources for guidance. Chances are they'll opt to buy a 3 compartment sink for a multitude of reasons, in order to conform.

                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                    I do not feel bad. So save your patronizing.
                                    "We're talking about building and getting signed off on one, not operation." Perhaps you were but that was never what I was talking about. Nor what the OP was talking about.

            2. re: waldito

              Health department code has nothing to do with whether something is "commercial"
              Just saying I a commercial sink does not imply a 3 compartment sink.

              1. re: chefj

                "Health department code has nothing to do with whether something is "commercial""

                The code requirements essentially require a commercial grade product otherwise you're right that commercial sinks come in every style under the sun.

        1. Keep your eyes out on Craig's List. You can find used commercial stuff there as well.

          1. Check out Economy on Irwin St in SF. If you are in the business, they should extend you a discount on purchases. As the other poster stated, they also carry used stuff in the back.
            Commercial sinks dedicated to warewashing/pots are typically 3 bay, while a prep sink can be a single or double bay unit, FYI...

            1. WOW - I'm also looking for used commercial grade equipment and I found this thread very helpful. thanks everyone for chiming in.

              One question: how does one find out about the auctions? Workdays, weekends ... all are fine. Just trying to get my cafe opened without spending $10k on equipment!

              2 Replies
              1. re: SaltyDogCafe

                You can download a calendar of Bonilla's future auctions on this page:


                Usually they're every other Thursday.