Patio Cafe Could Be Granted Permit Approval to Open by End of Week

Patio Cafe upcoming planning commission announcement for Aug. 1 meeting.

Patio Cafe upcoming planning commission announcement for Aug. 1 meeting.

As we posted in March, the long closed Patio Cafe (531-541 Castro St), has been on the hunt for an enterprising restaurant concern to come and run the once beloved and popular for current owner Les Natali. According to SocketSite one of the last remaining hurdles to make that a reality will be cleared when Natali receives the go ahead nod on all needed permits from the SF Planning Commission at their next meeting at City Hall on August 1st.

The Patio Cafe has been a fixture in the neighborhood since it first opened in the 1960′s. It’s a huge space and seen several face lifts. Natali purchased the restaurant in 1989. He installed a retractable roof over the dining area in 1992 so it could be enclosed during inclement weather and it’s popularity seemed to skyrocket especially as a week-end brunch hot spot for a wide variety of Castro residents and visitors.

The Patio Restaurant (Photo: M. Petrelis/Petrelis Files)

The Patio Restaurant (Photo: M. Petrelis/Petrelis Files)

Mr. Natali shut down the establishment in 1999 to remodel again and to address some code violations. It has remained that way ever since and a topic of ire among many in the community and neighborhood who’re unhappy with Mr. Natali’s business practice of leaving Castro property empty for long periods of time effecting both property values and the business acumen of the area.

The full remodel and permit fixing construction on the site has been completed since 2007. Catered and occasional events have taken place, but, other than that the space has remained dormant.

If you’ve forgotten what the place looks like inside you’re not alone. Here are the floor plans from 1992 and post remodel as the facility stands now. Lets hope this last hurdle is cleared and the deal is sealed on finding the right outside foodie entrepreneur to captain one of the Castro’s ghost ships and get the lights turned back on in the Patio Cafe once and for all.

The Patio Floor Plan 1992

The Patio Floor Plan 1992

The Patio Floor Plan 2013

The Patio Floor Plan 2013


Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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13 Responses

  1. rblack says:

    I long for it’s reopening, but Lucy has pulled that football away one too many times.

    IOW, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  2. Joe says:

    I wouldn’t trust Lester to do anything. He’s a nasty, rich, mean old man with a major chip on his shoulder. He won’t make it easy for any operator to come in and run a business. This is why I NEVER drink at Toad Hall or Badlands. Why support business owner who don’t support the community.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

    • rblack says:

      Is he still trying to keep 100% of the bar?

      Crazy is the tenant that agrees to those terms.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      • Joe says:

        He doesn’t need to or want to rent it. Just like the 2 buildings he owns in the neighborhood which sit empty. And help keep rents high in the Castro.

        The deal I heard he was offering was to run the food service only. He would maintain the bar. “Hey, let’s go into business together, I’ll run the cash register and tell you at the end of the day, how much money you made” Suckers bet.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

      • Clem says:

        I remember when he was a nasty, rich, mean, youngish man. He hasn’t improved.

        And I agree with you about boycotting his businesses.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  3. Kile Ozier says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    • rblack says:

      Where would we be without the spelling and grammar police? It would be anarchy! Thank you for your service.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

      • rblack says:

        And by the way, I’ve been enjoying the concerts in JWP, great job and thanks to you and the performers.

        Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • GregM says:

      How did he do with the 320 other words?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. Tom says:

    As much as I’d like to dine at the Patio when I get to town in November for my birthday visit, I have very strong reservations (pun intended) about putting money in Natali’s pockets. Too many other Castro resturants and bars that deserve my business.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Sanchez Resident says:

      Tom – If the business arrangement is that Natali gets the bar and the restaurant is run by an operator we could eat at the Patio and just drink water. But, this would only be reasonable if the food was outstanding.

      Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Matthew says:

    Well, it;s the end of the week. Is it open yet?

    ha ha ha

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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