Remodel heats up former San Bruno buffet building

The former Lee’s Buffet is being remodeled into a new Chinese eatery, in one of the largest restaurant revamps the city has seen in several years.

The remodel, located south of the downtown entrance, comes as the city works at updating businesses and storefronts in and around the city’s core.

The roughly 9,560-square-foot building located at 271 El Camino Real, which a planning staff report says is in blighted condition, has been vacant for the year since it was sold to new owner Peter Chan, who also owns South Sea Seafood Village in San Francisco. It sits on a roughly 25,600-square-foot building.

“As far as restaurant remodels go, this is the largest one I can remember,” Community Development Director Aaron Aknin said.

Though the property will remain a Chinese restaurant, the name of which is to be determined, Aknin said the city expects a dramatically updated look to the building, one of the major landmarks on El Camino.

El Camino, up and down the Peninsula, has been criticized for a lack of a uniform storefront appearance, but cities have been attempting to change that by encouraging new, transit-oriented development.

There are other smaller vacancies in the area, Aknin said, but those properties, including the storied El Camino Theater site, are being snapped up.

A tall, remodeled theater located at 447 San Mateo Ave., divided into office space and home to a barbershop, stereo shop and a number of different retail spots over the years, will be redeveloped into housing. Developer Golden Harvest also purchased three now-empty former bar properties nearby, including the Rio Saloon.

Development of these properties is a move forward for San Bruno’s long-term downtown redevelopment plan — which includes securing a tenant for the long-empty Wells Fargo site located at 470 San Mateo Ave.

tramroop@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read