Back in December, burger chain Hamburger Mary's was granted conditional-use authorization to open a new location at 531 Castro St., formerly the Patio Cafe. The move came after 15 years of vacancy for the property, which had many previous stops and starts; it's owned by Castro multi-property owner Les Natali.
Nine months on, Hamburger Mary's still hasn't made its debut, and many residents and readers have inquired about what's going on at this location and if it will ever open.
Natali, who also owns nearby bars Badlands and Toad Hall and a number of commercial and residential properties in the neighborhood, including Zapata, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Ashley Wright, who owns the Castro Hamburger Mary's franchise with his twin brother, Brandon, and their business partner Dale Warner, told Hoodline that "we are working on it," adding that "it has been a slow process."
Wright didn't have a timeline for the restaurant's opening. "Right now, we are looking to hire the core management team so that we can get open soon," he said. "I can't provide any information on an opening date at this time."
One sign that Hamburger Mary's is still in the works: since gaining approval from the planning department, it's taken out numerous ads in print and online seeking staff, and recently posted a sign in the window seeking candidates for the management team, including General Manager and Kitchen Manager/Chef. "Applicants must have experience overseeing a restaurant opening and managing all aspects of a restaurant," the sign states.
We know that readers and locals are anxiously awaiting any action at the space that was once one of the most popular brunch spots in the Castro, and we will keep you updated with any new information as we learn it.