Turns out that teeny-tiny Mission District grocery store The Royal Cuckoo Market was issued its beer and wine license in error last year, and at least one neighborhood group wants its miniature bar side-business shut down for good. It’s an odd state of affairs, and to clear things up, the market owners have written a lengthy explanation on their window for all the world to see.
The boutique grocery store at 19th and Capp comes from the owners of Mission Street bar The Royal Cuckoo Organ Lounge. After two years as retail-only, last year the market opened a tiny, 8-seat bar dubbed Horsie’s Saloon. It’s tucked up front in a cordoned-off area, where guests can enjoy food, beer and wine, and even mock-cocktails like a bloody mary with spicy tomato juice, beet juice, and two shots of the digestif Underberg.
But after complaints of an “illegal bar,” proprietor Paul Miller learned that he’d been issued the permit in error. Because the Market isn’t technically a restaurant, it needs a change of use permit to reclassify the front section as such in order to continue beer and wine service.
At the moment it’s business as usual for the market and saloon, but meanwhile the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has voiced opposition to the change of use request, and neighbors are confused. That’s why Miller posted the following explanation on his windows.
Led by policy manager Gabriel Medina, MEDA has pushed back against almost all recent restaurant conversions along the Mission corridor. But because nothing about the Royal Cuckoo Market is changing, Miller argues, there’s nothing to oppose. Eater has reached out to Medina for comment and has yet to hear back.
For now, Miller and MEDA have agreed to mediation proceedings. After those, a hearing will be set up before the planning commission.