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Old Presidio Burger King set for demolition

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Army building turned burger joint scheduled to be knocked down and replaced with—nothing at all

Fast Food Restaurants Remain Firm Favourites With UK Consumers Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Presidio Trust announced that on November 15 it will demolish a former Burger King in the Presidio, razing the Army building turned fast food joint in favor of a better view and increased access to open space for park goers.

In other news: Yes, it turns out there was once a Burger King in the Presidio, right in one of the most prime and beautiful spots overlooking the entrance to the bay.

According to a Presidio Trust press release, the building at 221 Lincoln is formally known as the onetime military installation’s observation post—or “Building 221”:

Constructed by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) in 1968 as a cafeteria for Presidio personnel and the public, [by] the late 1980s, the cafeteria was operating at a net loss, and the AAFES turned it into a Burger King franchise, which opened its doors on April 27, 1989.

In response to concerns from local conservationists and park advocates, the Burger King only advertised its presence with one small, plain outdoor sign. Views from the restaurant were touted in Sunset Magazine the year it was shut down in 1996, not long after the Army left the post.

The announcement says the the building has most recently been used as an event space, but by and large it seems like it’s mostly sat in obscurity for the past 20-plus years. After all, who knew?

221 Lincoln today.
Courtesy Presidio

The removal of the old structure is set to make way for nothing, as the Trust says the entire idea is to convert the area into open space, creating “14 spectacular new acres of parkland over the tops of the Doyle Drive tunnels, linking the Main Post to Crissy Field.”

The demolition and expansion is part of the ongoing Tunnel Tops project, which began in 2014 and looks to extend walkable Presidio space over the busy highway.

Once scheduled for completion this year, the tunnel project has, per usual in SF, been delayed several times, with the most recent timeline estimating a 2021 opening.

Removal of the observation post is set to begin at 9 a.m. on November 15 with public comments—and, hopefully, at least one “have it your way” joke.