The owners of Rustic, a new pizza spot on 24th Street, were a little quick to publicize the fact that they wanted to open an outdoor area in back with a bocce court and "redwood patio beer garden." As the local food blogs are wont to do, they all jumped on this information and included it in their opening write-ups, but there was one main problem: The owners still hadn't gotten any approval for said patio.
As the Chron stodgily reports, it was places like "the Eater, a local restaurant blog," that helped drum up attention for the unapproved planned for a 49-seat outdoor area, leading to some drama with the Planning Commission and a few vocals NIMBYs. One of them, Barbara Blong, who says she's been in the neighborhood 35 years, complained that she didn't want to "be forced to live and sleep in the beer garden with its polluting cigarette smoke, bocce ball clanging, music and beer garden atmosphere."
As owner Tom Elliott says, "We're not trying to destroy anyone's life [with our patio]," but, sadly, that is often what happens when such outdoor areas get proposed, and neighbors get nervous. Like at Starbelly in the Castro, Rustic's outdoor area got approved, but with the restriction that they have to kick everyone off of it at 9 p.m. every night. Also, they have to revise the design, and revisit the Commission in nine months to see if the restrictions need to be revised.
Once again, this is why we can't have nice things.