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SF restaurant owner fears closure over neighbor’s complaint

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — It’s been a lifeline for struggling restaurants throughout San Francisco. Outdoor dining parklets have allowed these businesses to take their customers outside as indoor dining remains off limits.

But now one restaurant in Lower Pac Heights is at risk of shutting down because neighbors want their parklet to close.

The owner of the building says Harry Bar which is next door is preventing them from selling this closed down space because the parklet blocks it.

The city has informed the owners of the bar they have to remove it within the next few weeks, but Harry’s is concerned without an extension to keep this space open they may be forced to close their business down.

A big chunk of this outdoor dining parklet in front of Harry’s Bar on Fillmore Street is at risk of being removed.

The bar has invested $30,000 in putting this up and it has helped them to stay in business.

But now this portion may have to go.

“We’re kind of walking a little bit of a tightrope right now financially,” Charles Johnson said.

Harry’s general manager Charles Johnson says they opened up this space last summer.

The former business owner in the building next door was apparently fine with it.

But that business owner may have given this spot away without the proper consent.

The building’s owner is now demanding the parklet be removed after the store front failed because of the pandemic.

The owner also says the parklet is preventing the empty storefront from being rented while affecting the value of the property.  

Johnson warns the removal will put the bar’s staff out of work.

“We’ve been trying to keep them employed and keeping this parklet intact at least until we get to 50% inside dining,” he said.

San Francisco is expected to re-enter the red tier and allow for indoor dining on March 3.

The capacity limit will be 25% but that’s half of what harry’s bar says they need at the moment. And with the city requesting a 1/3 of the parklet be removed by March 15 — the pressure is on.

“We might be faced with a situation where we have to shut it down,” Johnson said.

Johnson has started a petition to save the parklet and save the jobs that would be lost without it.

They plan to present hundreds of signatures to the city to keep the space in place.

Johnson fears if the city rejects it–the neighborhood overall neighborhood will take another hit.

“We are struggling. We’re all struggling,” Johnson said. “And we just need the city to understand we may need to go outside of what the rules maybe around shared spaces to help us out a little bit.”

The petition which can be found on change.org right now has more than 300 signatures. The goal is to get to 500.

KRON4 reached out to the supervisor of this district for comment on this situation and as of this report they have not responded.

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