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San Francisco

Plans To Demolish Polk Gulch's 'Grubstake' Move Forward

Plans appear to be moving forward with the demolition of longtime Polk Gulch eatery Grubstake Diner, according to the Chronicle

Public records indicate that Grubstake owners Nick Pigott and Jimmy Consos filed for a permit last month to demolish the one-story commercial restaurant.

The fate of the restaurant—known as the Orient Express until it changed names in 1967—has been up in the air since previous owners Fernando and Linda Santos sold the business in 2015.

Owners planned to construct a 7-story building at the site. | Photo: Grubstake Diner/Instagram

As we reported in 2016, the current owners have been working to construct a seven-story residential and mixed-use building on the site. At the time, plans to incorporate its familiar rail car into the 15-unit, $5 million project were under consideration.

While the permit application filed with the Department of Building Inspection on February 8th doesn't indicate any details apart from the demolition, we learned in 2016 that plans to keep portions of the rail car were scrapped, and that Grubstake will stay open until its structure needs to be removed to make way for the new building. 

Ultimately, the restaurant would find a temporary location, whereafter it would move into a new ground-level commercial space within the new structure.

The Planning Department is currently reviewing materials from a project meeting connected to the development, which states that "two commercial spaces at basement, ground, and mezzanine level" are also part of the project.

Grubstake would take over one of those spaces once the building is complete.

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