Luna Park once stood at 694 Valencia St, serving brunch, s’mores, and dinner to the local community for 15 years.
The former Mission restaurant has sat vacant since 2015, when Luna Park closed. Several potential suitors appeared, but few proved willing to go through the process of opening a business at the location.
Now, the site might soon be up and running as a new business after the property was sold in December to Skyline 91 SF Apartment Investors, Inc. for about $1.75 million. There’s no concrete timeline on when a new tenant might move in, but William Clarke, owner of Mission Beach Cafe at 14th and Guerrero, confirmed he is involved in the project.
Clinton Textor is now responsible for day to day management of the property. The real estate agent had worked with the prior owner of the 694 Valencia St. property and was one of the partners in the group that bought it last year. He and his fellow new owners will soon be removing the Luna Park sign — as they have been mandated by the city to do — and addressing some of the abatements on the property.
“It’s as simple as pigeon poop and as extensive as replacing grease traps,” said Textor, adding that it’s mostly general maintenance to get the location up to code and that he and his colleagues are in the process of hiring a contractor.
Although the space has been vacant since Luna Park closed, it is not listed in the city’s registry of vacant properties, nor has anyone paid the $711 registration fee that property owners of vacant properties are supposed to pay after 270 days of vacancy.
The property was previously owned by 69-year-old Nissim Lanyadoo, a Napa-based owner of several parcels in San Francisco. He became embroiled in several legal cases in Napa, including one that in 2016 resulted in him being sentenced to five days in jail for obstructing the flow of a waterway and cutting shrubs without written consent. He was placed on probation for three years. More legal troubles followed; most recently, in 2017, Lanyadoo was booked for possession of methamphetamine by Napa law-enforcement officers and is currently in court proceedings.
His 20-year-old son was eventually named a trustee of the 694 Valencia St. property before last month’s sale to Skyline 91 SF Apartment Investors, Inc.
Over the past four years, there were three attempts to acquire an alcohol license at 694 Valencia St., but all the applications were eventually withdrawn.
It was initially reported in 2014 that a new bar, owned by Plumpjack Group, would take the place of Luna Park. That hospitality management group was founded by Gov. Gavin Newsom and is currently headed by his sister, Hilary Newsom.
An alcohol license application was submitted by Gaslight Café Partners, LLC, which shares an address with White Rabbit, a Plumpjack-owned bar in San Francisco. That application was withdrawn in 2015. Requests for comment were not returned by Plumpjack Group.
Clarke, the owner of Mission Beach Cafe, submitted an alcohol license application the following year, but he too withdrew the application. He then submitted another application in 2017, but once again withdrew.
Clarke said he withdrew after not being able to get clear title to the liquor license because “it was tied up in bankruptcy court.”
These applications were all submitted (and withdrawn) while Lanyadoo owned the building and was suffering through his myriad legal difficulties.
With new ownership, Clarke has set his sights on this property once again.
“It’s been a long road and huge financial burden,” he said. “But I think it’s worth it. It’s a wonderful space.”