On lower Polk Street the neighbors have finally won a campaign to halt any new drinking establishments from crowding up their corridor. Yesterday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban new bars from opening along a six-block stretch from O'Farrell to California street.
At the moment, there are about 45 alcohol permits on lower Polk between the Mitchell Brothers Theatre on O'Farrell up to the Hi-Lo Club on the North end. The new legislation will prevent any new nightclubs or bottomless-mimosa joints from joining the likes of Vertigo, McTeague's or day party/post-Giants game bro favorite Noble without first taking over a liquor license from an existing bar.
Farther north on Polk, where drinking options currently range from Pirate dives and '70s porno dens to Cub Scout camps and Steelers outposts, Supervisor David Chiu says he has also considered similar legislation to slow the expansion of the boozy Disneyland for Marina graduates. Likewise, Chiu is also working on a "good neighbor" policy that would hold watering holes responsible for making sure patrons don't act like complete assholes as they stumble out the door. (Similar policies are already expected of most entertainment venues.)
Upper and Lower Polk have seen their share of last call violence, sadly. Last month a 22-year-old victim was stabbed outside of Noble. In March of 2012, SFPD tracked down three men who attacked a 23-year-old victim and left him in critical condition when he tried to prevent them from harassing women on Polk Street.
There has also been something of a bit of a neighborhood kerfuffle over bike lanes.