The Market Street building vacated by the restaurant Home in 2011 could soon be filled with a Chipotle, if approved by the Planning Commission tomorrow. The project would include an outdoor seating area screened behind an eight foot solid wall that would be turned into a public art mural, and be the first urban neighborhood Chipotle location that will serve beer, wine, and margaritas. The Planning Department is actually recommending disapproval, citing the density of formula retail along this part of Market Street (Chipotle would bring the concentration to 36% of commercial frontage within 300 feet) for similar reasons that the Starbucks proposal was recently shot down. To be fair though, as Eater points out, the site was once a Boston Market.
They're also concerned about the proximity of other nearby independently owned Mexican restaurants and that the cookie-cutter Chipotle design on a prominent corner lot would be detrimental to "the distinctive character of the Upper Market Neighborhood." Neighbor opinions are pretty split with a mixed bag of supportive or opposing letters, emails, and online petitions: merchant groups seem more supportive while neighborhood associations are opposed (interestingly, competing online petitions have almost double the opposing signatures, while traditional letters and signatures weigh heavier towards support). Planning has received over 3000 comments indicating a raucous public hearing come Thursday.
· Conditional Use Application - 2100 Market Street (pdf) [SF Planning]
· D-Day For Castro Chipotle Nears as Company Launches Final PR Offensive [Eater SF]
· SF Planning Commish Nixes New Mega-Bux Slated for Market & Sanchez St. [Castro Biscuit]