This is old news by today, but in case you missed it: a brewery called Citizen Fox is coming to the long vacant discount store on the corner of 18th and Mission. It’s called Citizen Fox and will fill the huge 18,000 square foot space that has been vacant for years.
Rumors about the space have been in the works for as many years as it’s been vacant. In 2012, we reported that this space would be a grocery store, but this week Inside Scoop did indeed get the scoop when the new venture’s liquor license was posted. Here’s more:
Rich Higgins — a well-regarded local beer guru who has put together lists at places like Schroeder’s, Social Kitchen and Lolina — also seems to be involved as brewmaster, at least based on a blog post on the Citizen Fox website. There, he describes a bit about the beer side of the project:
“I’m stoked about putting together a great brewery that brews fresh, delicious beer, works closely with the restaurant’s kitchen, and contributes to the brewing community … The opening beer menu at Citizen Fox will be influenced by the things I love most about the Mission District — it’s [sic] warmth, liveliness, and vibrancy. The beer will be drinkable and delicious on its own, and will also be great paired with Citizen Fox’s California fare.”
According to San Francisco Magazine’s long piece on Mission Street from earlier this year, one of the backers of this project may be Owen Van Natta, a former Facebook COO.
The building’s buyer, according to sellers tracked down by San Francisco, is former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta. Van Natta was briefly on record as manager of Mission Street Ventures LLC, before being replaced by Tom Van Loben Sels, a Silicon Valley tax consultant who is the agent of the LLC that bought Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto mansion for him. A property deed lists the corporation’s contact as a woman who identifies herself on LinkedIn as the personal assistant for the Van Natta family.
Van Natta has bought four buildings on or near Mission Street in the last year and is set to buy another. Four of the properties are on the block between 18th and 19th Streets, including the 99 Cent Depot, the Christian Science church, and the Bollyhood bar around the corner on 19th—leaving the Beauty Bar and adjoining Little Baobab bar as the only holdouts on the corner. Kaplan says there’s a plan to turn the 99 Cent Depot into a ramen restaurant. The fifth property, currently under construction, is between 21st and 22nd, directly across from the Vida condos. It’s set to become an office space—a tech incubator, some say.
Van Natta’s broker, Bennett Mason, says, “His idea is a cool thing, contributing to the community and doing something that would make his two daughters proud.”
Sounds like plans may have changed since this was published in February, but we’ll keep watching for the Fox’s arrival.