Pacific Heights supervisor Mark Farrell is leading a new push to ease up on regulations that have prevented new restaurants from opening up on the swanky section of Fillmore Street in his district. According to the Chronicle, the push to allow for more eateries comes after many retail shops have closed up in favor of selling their wares online, leaving empty storefronts that can send the the wrong message about some of our most desirable neighborhoods. That and San Franciscans, as a people, really enjoy eating in restaurants so it takes quite a few of them to saturate a neighborhood.

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is also lobbying in support of Farrell's plan and in recent years, similar bans have been eased along neighborhood thoroughfares like 24th Street in Noe Valley, Castro Street, Haight Street and Union Street in the Marina - and people generally seem to regard those as dining destinations.

On the flip side, Farrell doesn't want just anybody taking over the empty storefronts of Pac Heights. His proposed legislation even provides a handy rubrick for identifying the dreaded chain joints: "defined as having 11 or more establishments in the United States with such features as a standardized menu, uniforms or signs." (We might point out that the La Boulange at Fillmore and California is one of 13 locations in the Bay Area, but that would be kind of a mean thing to point out.)

As a local neighborhood activist put it, the restaurant bans were originally in place to prevent dining establishments from pushing out local business like "hardware stores and book shops", so you have and Home Depot to thank for the increase in neighborhood dining options.