Gold Dust Lounge awaits landmark decision 

click to enlarge The Gold Dust Lounge has been on Geary Street in Union Square since 1966. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo
  • The Gold Dust Lounge has been on Geary Street in Union Square since 1966.

The Historic Preservation Commission has postponed until next month a decision on landmark status for the embattled Gold Dust Lounge.

The Powell Street bar might have a tough time reaching that goal, according to a recent report, but supporters say they still think it’s possible to save the venue from closure.

Lee Housekeeper, a representative of the Gold Dust, said once the commission reviews all the evidence, he’s optimistic the bar will receive the votes necessary to designate it historic.

“I feel confident,” Housekeeper said. “This is a pitched war we haven’t given up on.”

A report released last week by the commission said the documentation surrounding the lounge “provides a useful history for American Bar Culture in San Francisco; however, the documentation alone does not justify Article 10 designation.”

Sam Singer, a spokesman for the property’s landlord, said the historic claim is a delay tactic for the bar’s eviction and a waste of city staff time.

“There is nothing historic about the Gold Dust Lounge,” Singer said. “It’s a nice tourist bar.”

The Gold Dust first opened in 1966 and is known for inexpensive drinks in the tourist mecca that is Union Square. The bar was given notice when its lease was up this year that it would need to vacate the premises. The lease ran out March 10, but the bar remains. Building owners hope to convert the space into an Express clothing store.

Supporters of the bar also are banking on legislation scheduled to be introduced next month by Supervisor Christina Olague that would prevent business conversions in Union Square. Opponents of the legislation say such decisions should be left to property owners.

The Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to meet again in April in a closed-door session.

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