Sports bar, city’s largest, to open on Third Street

Roughly half way between AT&T and Monster parks, in The City’s industrial heart, The City’s largest sports bar will open its doors, six months before the much-anticipated Third Street Light Rail Project launches service alongside it.

Thursday’s ribbon-cutting for Fanatics, a 10,000-square-foot sports bar offering nighttime dancing, is the largest new business to open on the Third Street corridor, in the emerging Mission Bay neighborhood. Formerly known as an area of industrial businesses, Mission Bay is expected to evolve into a residential, industrial and business area, particularly with the arrival of the light rail.

The new addition to the neighborhood is an excellent use of industrial land, said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents the Mission Bay district

“I appreciate that it’s a new different look at how we do things in the area,” Maxwell said. “There’s a need for creative uses for industrial buildings. … People love being around the docks.”

Butler Enterprises, a local African-American-owned firm, is funding the complex at 601 Cesar Chavez St. at Pier 80. Slated to offer food, drinks, games and sporting events, the split-level bar and lounge will offer open-air dining with views of the Bay. A 3,250-square-foot area for pool, pingpong and other games will transform into a dance floor when the sun goes down, Fanatics spokesman Keith Hazell said.

Once the new football season starts, shuttle service to and from the complex will allow spectators to leave cars in the parking lot, Hazell said.

The fact that local entrepreneurs are behind the idea is exciting for San Francisco, said Jennifer Petrucione, a spokeswoman for Mayor Gavin Newsom.

“The economic impact is huge,” Petrucione said. “It will provide a stimulus for the new business for the southeast area.”

The new club will likely bring people unfamiliar with the area to the club, Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Carol Piasente said.

“The new sports venue club is an example of new life in that southeast portion of The City,” Piasente said. “There’s a new neighborhood emerging, bringing people into neighborhoods some have never been to.”

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