The Castro Gayborhood May Get a Hamburger Mary’s

The Castro GayborhoodA proposed Hamburger Mary’s franchise in the Castro will go before San Francisco’s planning commission in early December, according to the project sponsor. In response to a question from the Bay Area Reporter, Les Natali, who is seeking permits to open a location of the fast casual chain at 531 Castro Street, said over the weekend that he was informed Friday the hearing date would be Thursday, December 4.

As the B.A.R. reported on its blog back in February, nearly a year ago Natali sought the city zoning administrator’s opinion on whether Hamburger Mary’s falls under the city’s formula retail rules that require any chain with 11 or more locations nation-wide to seek a conditional use permit to open a new location in San Francisco.

Natali, who also owns the Castro gay bars Badlands and Toad Hall, had argued he didn’t need to seek a conditional use permit because his version of Hamburger Mary’s would differ from the others. But in January Zoning Administrator Scott F. Sanchez ruled that Natali would need to seek permit approval from the Planning Commission as his planned Hamburger Mary’s qualifies as a formula retail business.

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