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Crackin' Down on Polk Street Bars

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The Board of Supes will vote today on establishing the Lower Polk Street Alcohol Restricted Use District, which would restrict any new bars from opening in the area. The boundaries would basically be Polk between California and O'Farrell Streets and Polk's side streets between California, Larkin, O'Farrell Street, and Van Ness. No new bars can open, but if existing ones close, they can be replaced as long as it's within one year, and new restaurants can have liquor licenses as long as they serve food during all hours of operation. The idea is to limit the number of bars in the area for "peace, health, safety, and general welfare" reasons, but it's mostly because of public drunkenness and vandalism problems. [SF Gov/Photo: Thomas Tymstone]