Longtime waterfront venue needs permit 

Marie Poole likes to go to the Red Jack Saloon for a glass of wine after her job at nearby Pier 39, a practice the 40-year-old has enjoyed for nearly eight years.

Poole and other patrons of the bar near Telegraph Hill could, however, find themselves without their favorite watering hole after a glitch with a city department put the nearly 100-year-old site at risk of closure.

Red Jack, which Mark Fusia took ownership of in 1994, has been a bar or restaurant on Bay Street near Stockton Street since 1911. The facility is located in a mostly residential neighborhood and has operated for 50 years under a special-use permit, which needed to be renewed every four years.

The permit, however, expired in 1990 and, according to a letter from Zoning Administrator Lawrence Badiner to Fusia dated Dec. 18, the Planning Department did not send a notice to the business to renew its permit.

“It appears the department did not issue a final notice,” documents state. “In addition, staff could find no evidence the department issued a final notice one year prior to the expiration date.”

Fusia said the discrepancy was discovered after he tried to pull construction permits for $20,000 worth of work to add ramps for wheelchairs and renovate the bathrooms for disabled people. The improvements came from a lawsuit seven months ago by disability advocates.

Fusia told The Examiner that he was anxious about the hearing before the Planning Department today, during which the bar’s fate could be decided.

The Planning Department meets at 1:30 p.m. today and could decide whether to issue the bar the needed permit to continue operating.

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