Joy Fu, the owner of the former Crow Bar building at 401 Broadway, has applied for a conditional use permit to turn the space's ground floor into an eight-room boutique hotel and sushi bar.
Architect Tom Zhang, of architecture and planning firm LZI International, told us that Fu is pursuing the project because she "had a very difficult time finding tenants to use the space. It’s not an active space." Since she's operated hotels in other cities in the past, as well as a sushi bar, she decided to combine both concepts.
Though the whole building is roughly 12,000 square feet, the hotel, lobby and sushi bar would only occupy the ground floor, which is less than 5,000 square feet. The 40 residences on the upper two floors won't be affected. "We intend to maintain the upstairs use as it is, and just use the vacant space on the ground level to make the storefront more attractive," Zhang said.
Though it'll be a challenge to fit everything into such a small area, he said the space will be "a unique boutique hotel ... every room would be different, with its own character, rather than standardized hotel rooms."
He said he'd also be open to getting input from neighbors on hotel and room design elements that pay respect to North Beach's colorful history. "We are going to have some interior decorations that relate to the community and the neighborhood," he said.
The proposed hotel is on a stretch of Broadway is home to several nightclubs and adult entertainment clubs, so it doesn't get as much daytime foot traffic as busier corridors, such as Columbus and Grant avenues. Zhang hopes the new project will help address that discrepancy, which has been an ongoing concern for businesses and residents in the area. "We hope this project can bring back life to the street level, and bring some revenues from the city," he said.