Medjool’s roof deck was back in the blogosphere today thanks to the restaurant’s Obama-style effort to galvanize grassroots supporters via the Internet. More than a thousand San Franciscans received invitations to join a “Save Medjool” Facebook group, whose description says:
After a hot San Francisco day, after a hard day’s work, there are few places as nice as Medjool … Yet after over 5 years, suddenly the city is trying to revoke the permit for this outdoor haven. If its permits are revoked, Medjool will have no choice but to close its doors for good and lay off over 60 hard-working employees.
Some 318 people have signed up for the group so far, and someone launched a whole independent site in support of the restaurant’s rooftop deck, which city planners say has been illegal since it opened in 2004. Some anonymous commenters seem offended by the city’s sudden action—the deck will be closed unless Medjool owner Gus Murad can convincingly argue otherwise before the city’s Board of Appeals, probably sometime in April—while others wonder why the roof has stayed open as long as it has.
But never fear, San Francisco. Even if Medjool loses its glorious deck, those of us with a penchant for sunset drinking with a view may still be able to indulge. Another Mission restaurant is on its way to building a rooftop deck! Farina, the Italian joint at 18th and Dearborn known for its focaccia, filed an application with the city on Wednesday for “structural reinforcing of roof for anticipated future roof loading.” In other words, someday in the not-too-distant future, the city will welcome a second rooftop bar.
Farina’s conditional-use permit to build the deck was granted in 2007 after being first denied in 2005, said Monica Viarengo, who runs the restaurant. Its zoning restrictions are different than Medjool’s, and apparently allow for commercial use of the roof—though that’s a detail Mission Loc@l hasn’t verified. Viarengo said it’s too soon to tell, given the uncertain economic climate, when the deck will be finished and ready for customers—could be one month, two months, five months or more.