Hamburger Mary’s will be returning to San Francisco, the city where the burger chain was launched in 1972. While the original location shuttered in 2001, gay Castro bar owner Les Natali won approval this afternoon (Thursday, December 4) from the city’s planning commission to operate a Hamburger Mary’s in the long vacant Patio Cafe on the 500 block of Castro Street.
The reopening of a restaurant at 531 Castro Street will bring to an end a 12-year saga that saw the storefront sit vacant as Natali battled city officials over a number of zoning issues over the years. Last summer the planning commission signed off on the last of the permits that Natali needed to open an eatery in the space.
But when he opted to team up with the owner’s of Hamburger Mary’s, considered formula retail under city rules, Natali at first fought planning officials over whether he needed a conditional use permit, arguing that the burger joint should not be considered chain retail.
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