Hey there, San Francisco.
The future is murky for the parklets outside restaurants and cafes across the city.
On Monday, the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee, which includes Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Myrna Melgar, and Dean Preston, voted unanimously to punt on the decision of whether or not to make the city’s Shared Spaces Program more permanent. They will revisit the matter in two weeks.
As Here/Say Media reported, during Monday’s five-hour-long meeting, proponents touted the increased revenue for small businesses with parklets and the program’s positive impact on job creation.
“Shares Spaces has been critical for rehiring,” Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, said. “For every 20 seats, that equates to hiring one or two employees.”
They also pointed to the overall economic benefits for the city via increased sales tax revenues.
Critics discussed the parklets’ interference on sidewalks, which especially impacts seniors and people with disabilities. There was also worry over monetary losses from cutting down on metered parking spots and the “privatization of public spaces,” Here/Say reported.
Supervisors Peskin and Preston asked for more information on several points ahead of the next June 7 discussion, Here/Say said, including “the merits of commercial Shared Spaces versus parklets that are deemed entirely public space.”
Separately, the Land Use Committee also delayed a vote on Mayor Breed’s Small Business Recovery Act, which is meant to simplify and expedite the process for starting a new business in the city.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Breed spoke of her frustration with the committee’s inaction.
“The board has messed with the wrong mayor,” Breed said. “If the board continues down this path, my plan is to bring it to the voters. And I know that you all will be with me when I do that.”
And with that… onto some more news…
The San Francisco Unified School District proposed a plan earlier this month that would allow high school seniors to return to campus for “at least three days of in-person learning” before graduation in June. District officials believed that doing so made it eligible to receive $12 million from a California grant meant to incentivize the reopening of public schools.
On Monday, however, assembly members Phil Ting and David Chiu and Senator Scott Weiner (all of whom represent San Francisco at the state level), penned a letter to state regulators urging them to deny the district’s bid for funding. The San Francisco lawmakers said they were “gravely concerned” about the plan for high school seniors, saying it was a “poor attempt to exploit a perceived legal loophole.”
🎬 Drive-in movies at Fort Mason, a project called “Fort Mason Flix,” will end on June 27. “With California’s economy finally reopening and the end of the pandemic seemingly in sight, Fort Mason Flix will be no more, its mission accomplished,” Datebook wrote on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, after construction delays, the new Regal theater in the Stonestown mall, equipped with seats that “pitch, twist, vibrate, and roll in coordination with action happening on screen,” appears to be open as of today. Tickets for movies like Mortal Kombat and Godzilla vs. Kong are available for sale on Regal’s website. (Datebook / SFist)
🎨 “Queeroes,” the new mural on the SF LGBT Center on Market Street, is complete. It replaces the three honey bear paintings that sparked backlash last month against San Francisco street artist, fnnch. (Bold Italic)
🏨 San Francisco’s largest hotel, the nearly 2,000 room Hilton Union Square, opened its doors to visitors for the first time in 14 months on Monday. Initial guests posed for photos with hotel staff members and were “rushed” by television news crews. “A passerby could easily have mistaken the scene as one for a visiting dignitary or celebrity,” Chronicle reporter Chase DiFeliciantonio wrote. (Chronicle)
😋 And speaking of tourists, Eater updated its list of top tourist traps in San Francisco, which included some of my favorite spots, including Tony’s Pizza, Zuni Cafe, and La Taqueria. (Does that make me a newb?!) It also features some spots I’ve always wanted to try like Swan Oyster Depot. (Eater)
This Friday’s newsletter will be the 100th edition of The SF Minute! What started as an email read pretty much exclusively by my mom and mother-in-law earlier this year now reaches some 1,200 inboxes every Monday-Friday. You all have been so kind to follow along thus far, and I really hope it’s been a helpful way to navigate local news.
To celebrate, we have a little giveaway. Actually, it’s a super generous, $100 giveaway (for our 100th edition!) from our friends at Southern Pacific Brewing.
Here’s how it’ll work:
Anyone who sends out a tweet about The SF Minute between now and the end of day Thursday (May 27) will be eligible to win one of four $25 gift cards from Southern Pacific. Make sure to tag us @thesfminute in your tweets.
Tweets that tell your friends/followers about how much you enjoy the newsletter (as long as this is true) and link to our website (thesfminute.com) help us out a ton!
If you’re not on Twitter, you can participate by spreading the word on your social media platform of choice, emailing your friends, or “Slacking” your colleagues. If you go any of these routes, just email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org), so I know and can throw your name into the running.
This Friday, I’ll announce the four winners.
Again, thank you all for the encouragement and support over these first 100 newsletters. And here’s to 100 more! - Nick B 🍻