Indoor miniature golf course, restaurant headed for Mission district 

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San Franciscans may soon have a place to putt around while enjoying some food and drinks.

Plans for an 18-hole putt-putt course at South Van Ness Avenue and 24th Street — which would be called Urban Putt — are scheduled for a vote at the Planning Commission today.

Urban Putt would take over a former mortuary that's been vacant since the 1990s and transform a roughly 6,000-square-foot, pre-1906-earthquake building into a minigolf course.

There are currently no miniature golf courses in The City, according to listings.

The course would feature San Francisco-centric landmarks as course obstacles — the minigolf-staple windmill blocking a hole would be attached to a miniature Transamerica Pyramid — and other holes would include Rube Goldberg machine-style details, such as cowbells to ring and tom-toms upon which putted balls would bounce.

If approved, owner Steve Fox, a former magazine editor at PC World, hopes to open his doors to miniature golfing aficionados — who would be free to putt away and sip beverages provided by the planned on-site bar until 2 a.m. on weekends — by the end of the year, he said Wednesday.

The $1.5 million project would employ "a minimum" of 55 people, with an emphasis on hiring Mission residents, Fox said. There would be an on-site bar and kitchen, too. The bar would serve Mission district-friendly libations and Urban Putt's kitchen would offer "California comfort cuisine" with a sort of kitschy "arcadelike twist," Fox said.

The project appears to have strong neighborhood support. Eight locals wrote letters in support of Urban Putt. No messages opposing the miniature golf course were received, according to records.

While Urban Putt appears tailor-made to cater to the neighborhood's families with children as well as the hipster cocktail crowd, "we're not opening up a nightclub," Fox noted, adding that that approach helped win neighborhood support.

But there might be Skee ball, he noted.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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