We've posted a great deal in the past month or so about a myriad of stories in the Castro that have generated quite a bit of interest. This week the follow-up news has been a hot and heavy maelstrom resolving at least one issue that's been festering since 2009.
Cafe Flore restaurant in jeopardy: As our Editor in Chief, Roy, posted last week, Cafe Flore had run afoul of a organzied effort by members of the community and two neighborhood associations over their off site kitchen use.
Sup. Wiener had proposed a targeted code variance which would allow the venerable and much beloved icon of the Castro to continue using the off site, code compliant, food prep site its had functioning for the last two decades. Many of the opposition thought this was unfair and that all businesses should be held to the exact same standards no matter what.
We're happy to report that the Oversight Committee in charge of the issue via Board of Supervisors approved the change this week and now Cafe Flore is free of threats to its continued operation. The off site kitchen will continue to be used keeping Flore up and running without hiccups.
SF Fitness seeks to expand and remodel building: In October the Biscuit posted that LA based Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf was hoping to expand into the Castro with a new store opening in the old Vibrant Health Vitamin Center.
This new addition to the Castro was contingent on a couple of issues-the biggest-wether or not SF Fitness could get a zone variance to enlarge the building on the corner of Market and Noe St. Their goal since 2009 has been to add several floors which would include much-needed rental units as well as expanding the gym to accommodate an ever-growing clientel.
Working with the Board of Supes, under the guidance of Supervisor Wiener, the remodel has received the go ahead. Mr. Wiener piggybacked the zone change for SF Fitness onto the same multi-faceted legislation that included Cafe Flore's off site kitchen issue.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf signed a lease with the owners of SF Fitness, the Jackovics family, following the approval. Coffee Bean will still have to get approval to open which may prove to be a daunting task considering how corporate chain stores are received and disliked in the neighborhood.
Rally for renaming SFO for Harvey Milk: We've posted three times about the battle heating up to rename SFO.
Friday saw a huge coalition of supporters rally at City Hall in favor of changing the name of SFO to honor the late, Castro Supervisor and civil rights leader, Harvey Milk.
Led by chief proponents Sup. David Campos who introduced the resolution to the Board, and Stuart Milk, Harvey's nephew and Milk Foundation head, about a hundred people took part from a wide swath of San Francisco political organizations and citizenry. Kicking off the rally with chants and speeches of support media from throughout the Bay Area was on hand to cover and help get out the word that the battle is on to make this idea a reality.
Friday Sup. Campos said 80 airports are named after people across the U.S. but there is no representation from the LGBT community.
"Why shouldn't San Francisco be that City?" Campos asked those gathered at the rally.
Campos isn't alone in this quest he's enlisted the support of four other supervisors, including John Avalos, Scott Wiener, Jane Kim and Eric Mar. One more supervisor will be needed to get the issue on a City ballot.
Campos goal is to have this issue on the agenda by Fall of 2013.