The Board of Supervisors has been known to push its weight around and impose zoning controls when popular entertainment venues and bars are at risk, and that is now the threat by District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney to the landlords of Mezzanine.
Earlier this month we heard the club was closing sooner than expected, with the landlords — the Chritton family — reneging on an earlier offer to extend the club's lease through the New Year. Now, club owner Deborah Jackman tells the Examiner that the three-month extension is back on, and she's hoping that Haney's pressure will buy some time for something potentially more significant to get negotiated.
Haney tells the Ex that there's a "public interest" in retaining venues like Mezzanine, and he's introducing some temporary zoning controls that would retain the club's entertainment use — thereby blocking the landlords from doing what they say they intend to do, which is to use the building as office space. His legislation would also put in place protections for similar venues in SoMa.
"SoMa has had such a critical role for the heart of nightlife in San Francisco, especially for the LGBT community, and we see a lot of that disappearing, we see a lot of those venues under threat of closure or displacement," Haney tells the Examiner.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin did something similar recently, changing the zoning for the Punch Line comedy club to protect a change of use there. And several years ago, Haney's predecessor in District 6, Jane Kim, and former Supervisor Scott Wiener intervened to help save the Eagle Tavern from possible redevelopment.
Jackman said she was expecting to sign the lease extension shortly.
Photo courtesy of Mezzanine/Cody Clicks