Union Street Opens Restrictions, But Not Necessarily Arms, To New Restaurants

The Marina may get a new crop of restaurants and take-out joints over the next year, according to a story in the Examiner. City codes currently prevent new eateries from opening in the six-block stretch of Union Street between Van Ness Avenue and Steiner Street, but the San Francisco Planning Commission voted Thursday to loosen that restriction.

From the Examiner:

In an effort to reinvigorate the corridor’s economy, commissioners voted Thursday to allow up to five new eateries to serve food and alcohol between Steiner Street and Van Ness Avenue, where new restaurants have been barred since the late 1980s. The change will take effect if it’s endorsed by the Board of Supervisors.

Over the past two decades, the number of fast-food and take-out stores in the strip fell from 19 to 12, according to a city report, while the number of full-service restaurants dipped from 31 to 27, leaving roughly one eatery every 30 yards.

The move to allow for the new openings met with some opposition from neighbors.

“On Friday and Saturday nights, parking is impossible, and additional restaurants ain’t going to make it any better,” neighbor Jack Branning told commissioners. “We don’t need more restaurants — we just need better restaurants.”

The new codes will have to gain approval by the Board of Supervisors before they are put into effect, but even with the legal hindrance removed, the question faces those considering opening new restaurants in the neighborhood: With the new city-mandated health-care requirement, strong opposition to chain stores and a built-in neighborhood NIMBYism that almost guarantees a fight over any new liquor licenses, why would you want to?

New eateries may pop up on Union Street [Examiner]


Union Street Opens Restrictions, But Not Necessarily Arms, To New Restaurants