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City Votes to Cap Number of Restaurants and Bars in the Mission District

No more than 167

Immigrants Rally And Hold Boycotts Nationwide Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously and without debate yesterday to cap the number of restaurants and bars in the Mission District at 167. There are currently 143 spaces zoned for bar and restaurant use according to the office of Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who introduced the amendments to the city’s planning code.

The ordinance will also ban Type 75 liquor licenses in the neighborhood and require Conditional Use Authorization to replace a city-approved legacy businesses or add a new bar of any kind. It’s part of Supervisor Ronen’s effort to preserve the Mission’s character and curtail gentrification, her office says. Ronen aide Amy Beinart calls the Mission “ground zero for displacement.”

“We don’t think this is controversial,” said Beinart, “and it will benefit the retail corridor and the merchants of the Mission.”

After some pushback and confusion, Ronen reworded some language in the ordinance yesterday, substituting the words “ABC License Type 75 establishments” for the word “brewpub.” Type 75 licenses, sometimes called brewpub licenses, allow businesses that make small amounts of beer on premises to also sell hard alcohol.

Because Type 75 licenses are a fraction of the cost of a full liquor license, some crafty bars have used them as a loophole — making one house beer, or even none at all, but operating as a full bar, a report in the San Francisco Chronicle showed.

“I was glad to be able to re-word my zoning legislation to clear up the misunderstanding about brewpubs,” Supervisor Ronen said. “I think small local craft brewing is a great business model in my district. We are not banning small beer manufacturing or taprooms, only closing a loophole to ensure that small breweries don’t sell hard alcohol.”

Supervisors will vote next week to finalize their approval, which the Mayor is expected to sign at a later date. After it’s signed, it will take effect in 30 days, and undergo a review after two years.

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