Hamburger Mary’s, a chain of diners staffed by drag queens that started (naturally) in San Francisco, is at last returning to the city. An opening is targeted for after Labor Day, a representative told the Entertainment Commission during a vote last night that sealed the deal.
News that a Hamburger Mary’s franchise would arrive in the Castro District, taking over the long-vacant Patio Cafe space (521 Castro Street), first circulated in 2014. The project was quickly beset by delays. For example, now that Hamburger Mary’s is a chain (even a homegrown one) with more than 11 locations, the Castro location needed a conditional use permit. Opened on Folsom Street in 1972 and closed in 2001, Hamburger Mary’s lists 18 franchise locations on its website, from Tampa to Ontario.
In the end, the Commission gave the Castro location the green light in a unanimous vote. Neighbors: Expect some drag entertainment noise until the 1:30 a.m. witching hour, and only when a skylight roof is closed overhead. It’s the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Patio Cafe space, which hasn’t seen much of anything recently: It’s been vacant now for 15 years. The only objection during a public comment at the hearing last night was from a Castro District resident who lamented the fact it had been empty so long.