The Gold Dust Lounge has to find a new home. It lost the vote for historic designation by San Francisco’s Historic Preservation Commission by a vote of 5 to 2. Now, the situation looks bad for the storied bar as it’s operating without a lease and with a pissed off land-owner that it could have worked with had it – or its owners the Bovis Brothers – not elected to be punchy about the issue.
To this blogger, The Gold Dust Lounge can be relocated, and I’m sure Willie Brown would be happy to sing at the new location:
Here’s how the pres release reads:
The decision came on the heels of the city staff recommending against historic designation as well as a letter from San Francisco Architectural Heritage, which also found the bar did not have historic merit.
The tenants of the Gold Dust Lounge had sought seeking historic landmark status, but the owners of the property call the effort a mockery of historic preservation.
A number of prominent organizations and individuals spoke or wrote letters against the landmark effort, including the Chamber of Commerce, BOMA, and others.
The Handlery family, which owns the Elkan Gunst Building at 301 Geary St., already designated a Category 1 Significant Landmark, spoke out to oppose the application by their tenant, the Gold Dust Lounge, to have the bar inside the building listed as an historic landmark itself.
The proposal by the Gold Dust Lounge for historical preservation came after the landlord gave notice to the Bar, according to the agreed upon conditions of their lease, that it had 90 days to find a new location for their establishment. The landmarking effort was a tactic by the bar to remain in the building, but it has failed.
“We thank the Commission or recognizing that this landmarking effort was nothing but alchemy intended to cover over a landlord-tenant dispute,” said Sam Singer, a spokesman for the Handlery family, which owns the building. “We hope the Bovis brothers take this as a sign that their false claims are seen for what they are—a delaying tactic. We hope they get the message and move to another location.”
The Gold Dust bar has been served with a lawsuit that will ultimately conclude with its eviction as it no longer holds a lease for its Union Square location and continues to occupy the building without a lease.
This is what was posted at the Gold Dust Lounge Facebook Page:
Thank you to EVERYONE that turned out today. They voted against landmarking 5-2. BUT actually it was a great conversation. They then voted to write a letter to the board of supervisors recommending they find the right way to save the bar. Essentially most of the commission wants to save the bar, but the HPC is not the right avenue and they even questioned if their own process needs to change to support these nominations. There is a lot more to todays story, we will write it up tomorrow. We need rest! Once again, thanks for those who took time to come and support us! The fight continues on…
The right way to save the Gold Dust Lounge is simply to find it a new home, preferably not far from its old one. Again, great San Francisco establishments like The Tadich Grill have moved, again and again. If the supporters of the Gold Dust Lounge really do care about it, they’ll find a new location for it.