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Haight Street McDonald’s finally closes

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Corner burger stand was longstanding neighborhood nuisance

A photo of the golden arches over a McDonald’s restaurant. Photo by Vytautas Kielaitis

The McDonald’s on the corner of Haight and Stanyan closed last week, making way for City Hall to bulldoze the structure and erect affordable housing after San Francisco bought the lot for $15.5 million last year.

Located across the street from the entrance to Golden Gate Park, the fast food diner was a neighborhood mainstay, but also a chronic nuisance because of reports of drug dealing and other petty crime.

Between 2012 and 2015, Haight residents called police to the McDonald’s site some 1,100 times. Days before Board of Supervisors President London Breed announced plans to purchase the site, an unidentified man was shot at the fast food spot. (He lived.)

“This McDonald’s may be part of Dante’s circle of Hell designed to torture the gluttonous,” a Yelp user complained of the diner in March. Another in 2017 claimed, “I’ve had to intercede with homeless people walking behind the counter and threatening staff.”

The place had its fans too, and the loss of the site is presumably a very unlucky break for the workers there. But all things considered, this is probably the least controversial casualty of the housing crisis for which the Haight can hope.

Details of the forthcoming building and its timeline are not yet solidified, however, permit applications specify “no more than 7 stories and no more than 186 units.”