S.F. orders parklet removed from Martin Macks 

click to enlarge Martin Macks
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • Questions over ownership have plagued the small parklet in front of Martin Macks gastropub.

The parklet outside Martin Macks gastropub on Haight Street must be removed under the first such order given to one of the popular open spaces that have been cropping up citywide since 2010.

The Department of Public Works issued the order last week. Agency officials said the parklet has not complied with maintenance guidelines, it has generated complaints from neighbors and its permit has not been renewed.

Martin Macks has 15 days to appeal, otherwise the parklet could be removed in early July. The owners are responsible for removal, though Public Works could take down the space "in a matter of days" and bill the owners, agency spokeswoman Rachel Gordon said.

If an appeal is filed, the parklet would remain until a hearing is set and a decision is made by the Board of Appeals.

Vivian Walsh, owner of Martin Macks, said he was not aware of the order and could not comment on the next steps. He said he likes the idea of parklets, but thinks the rules surrounding them could be made clearer.

"We were never given any guidelines or requirements," Walsh said. "For us to comply, you can't smoke in the bar so we have to send people outside, then we go outside and tell them they can't smoke in the park either."

The permit for the parklet was first issued in 2011, and it was one of the first installed in San Francisco.

But numerous violations — including lack of upkeep and smoking violations — led to fines.

Complaints from the community, along with the Police Department, stated that the parklet attracted homeless people and illegal behavior, according to the order. The order also noted that another parklet three doors down in front of Haight Street Market is well-liked by the neighborhood.

Martin Macks changed ownership earlier this year and questions over who is now responsible for the parklet also affected the removal order decision.

Though the new management of the bar hopes to keep the parklet and transform it into a more inviting public space, no work will be authorized until litigation between the new owners and former owners is resolved, according to the Public Works order.

The new management has already made some changes to the parklet, including putting flowers in the existing planter boxes and removing the overhead trestle.

Public Works spokeswoman Gordon said the business has other options, such as re-applying for a new parklet.

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