Precita Park Pizzeria Plan Comes to an End

3214 Folsom, on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo by Telstar Logistics)

Alas, it’s not happening.

Back in 2015, Bernal Neighbor Eliza Laffin announced plans to open a pizza shop called Red Apron Pizza at the corner of Folsom and Bessie, at the western end of Precita Park.

She knew that opening the shop would be tough. Still, it had been a lifelong dream to open her own pizzeria, so Neighbor Eliza was determined to renovate the space at 3214 Folsom and navigate San Francisco’s labyrinthine permitting process. To symbolize all that, she papered the windows of the storefront with handmade graphics that said, “It Will Happen.”

Yet it wasn’t to be. The renovation effort soon bogged down in negotiations with the property owner about who was responsible for various structural improvements, water damage abatement, and sewage system repairs, with the result that work on Red Apron Pizza was suspended for more than a year.

The “It Will Happen” signs have now been taken down from the windows of 3214 Folsom, and over the weekend Neighbor Eliza shared this update with the Bernal community:

On September 18, 2017, I made a very difficult decision to terminate the lease for Red Apron Pizzeria at 3214 Folsom Street.

We were headed for trial a week prior, but the judge directed us to a mandatory settlement conference. We spent two days in the settlement conference negotiating before agreeing to the terms of our arrangement.

I agonized over this decision.

My heart was set on what was the perfect place for my pizzeria. The bad news is I’ve lost that spot, and it means starting all over again. The good news is that we avoided going to trial.

The even better good news is that the relationship between the landlords and me is over. They did not comprehend what turned out to be myriad hidden issues with their building, which has three residential units in addition to the storefront. […]

My restaurant – while currently a figment of my imagination – remains the same, as Red Apron Pizzeria.

In the meantime, I had a major foot surgery two weeks ago. After recovering from that, I hope to find a leasable restaurant space in my ‘hood.

The sign in the front window is gone. I feel like I let my neighborhood down.. I’m sorry. But please continue to hope. You never know when opportunity comes knocking on the door.

With mixed feelings and perpetual pizza dreams,

Eliza

13 thoughts on “Precita Park Pizzeria Plan Comes to an End

  1. I will preface this by saying that I am not a property owner, nor am I a business owner. But it seems to me that “structural improvements, water damage abatement, and sewage system repairs” would fall sqaurely on the property owner. Does it not? Those seem to be things that would be required no matter who/what the tenant was doing in the space.
    now if those things are done, but the business owner needs things specific to the business, then THEY would have to take care of those. Make sense?
    Anyways, what do I know.

  2. wow, caveat emptor to the next person who tries to open up shop in this storefront. my guess is it will stay vacant for quite awhile, which is a bummer for our beloved neighborhood.

  3. So sad! i fear that any business that wants to go in there will be screwed. I miss the old cafe that was in it, they had great sandwiches back in the day it was the older couple running it. Please give us neighbors an alternative to precita park cafe and their grumpy employees.

  4. with Bank of America closing down on Cortland (they will only have the ATM’s) you may want to reach out to them and see what they are doing with the space. I heard that BofA owns that building.

    • That’s a good idea. There’s also the space at folsom and cortland that appears to be progressing toward remodeling/retrofitting completion. Not sure if that landlord intends to pass on all their costs or not.

  5. Too bad. I was looking forward to a restaurant instead of a run-down storefront. I feel bad for Eliza; the landlords sound like a nightmare.

    What’s the status of the planned sushi place on the other end of the park?

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