Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerA parklet on Haight Street in front of Martin Macks has gotten a second wind after the bar vowed to start caring for it. Neighbors had called for it to be removed after it languished into disrepair after the former bar owner was told the parklet couldn’t be used as additional seating.

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. ExaminerA parklet on Haight Street in front of Martin Macks has gotten a second wind after the bar vowed to start caring for it. Neighbors had called for it to be removed after it languished into disrepair after the former bar owner was told the parklet couldn’t be used as additional seating.

Workers at Haight bar trying to save parklet

Employees of a Haight Street bar say they are working to save a parklet that fell into disrepair so that it is not converted back into parking.

The parklet outside of Martin Macks was installed in 2011 by the previous owners of the bar. It was one of the first applicants of the pilot program, which takes parking spots on commercial corridors and turns them into public spaces.

But the parklet fell into disarray when the previous owner used it as an extension of the restaurant and was told that wasn’t permitted. Around the same time, the bar was sold and there were questions of who should care for it — the business owner or the property owner. Because of its appearance, nearby residents and business owners wanted it removed.

“I think it would be crappy to let it fail,” said Sean McNeal, general manager of the bar. “It’s a pilot program, everyone in the nation is looking at us, and we don’t want to be the one to turn it back into parking.”

McNeal, floor manager Anelia Luciow and the new owners have made small improvements such as removing the overhead lattice work and planting new  flowers.

“We work hard at keeping it up,” said Luciow, who personally planted the new flowers.

The parklet was the subject of a hearing with the Department of Public Works, which oversees the parklet program, late last month in order to determine whether the space should be taken down or could be upgraded. The hearing officer has not yet made a determination on what should happen, according to department spokeswoman Rachel Gordon.

Along with the physical changes to the parklet, the new owners of the bar have made sure to not use the space as an extension of their restaurant, banning alcohol from the parklet and attempting to police illegal activity such as loitering and smoking, Luciow said.

Luciow said they do their best, but noted there will always be a counter-culture aspect in the Haight-Ashbury they have to deal with.

“There’s a cultural dynamic that will always be a part of this neighborhood,” she said. “We do have street kids, but some of them do buy things and patronize our business.”

If given approval by The City to keep the parklet, McNeal said they’d like to make more upgrades.

“We do want to see what we can do with it,” McNeal said. “It’s a hell of an idea to turn parking into a public space.”

Bay Area NewsdevelopmentHaight-AshburyLocalmartin macksPlanning

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

(Robert Greene/Tribune News Service)
As tensions grow over vaccinations and politics, California lawmakers face threats from public

Anti-vaccine speakers hint at gun violence during routine budget hearing at state Capitol

Dr. Martin Luther King in Sam Pollard’s ‘MLK/FBI’. (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)
The superb documentary ‘MLK/FBI’ clearly connects the past to our troubling present

Justin Chang Los Angeles Times Among the many archival materials excerpted in… Continue reading

Toni Isabella, a counselor at Ohlhoff Recovery Programs, finds helpful assistance from service dog Barker Posey.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Toni Isabella: Helping people indoors and out recover from addiction’s dark side

Counselor supports holistic, progressive approach to healing

Most Read