Sunday morning, April 10, 2022. Photo by Lydia Chávez

The stalled plan to demolish The Phoenix and build 19 units has risen again. 

Back in 2018, the owner of the Irish pub The Phoenix, at 811 Valencia St., submitted plans to demolish the one-story watering hole to develop a six-story mixed-use building with 19 “Single Room Occupancy” units. 

Last week, the project received demolition and building permits, city documents show. A neighbor also received a notice from the city on April 5, alerting them of the future demolition. Mission Local reviewed that notice.  The 63-year-old single-story building between 18th and 19th streets is wedged between a multi-story and two-story building.

Still, it’s unclear if the 347-square-foot rooms will actually be Single Room Occupancy units. Buildings under this category generally offer rooms that are eight by ten feet, require tenants to share amenities like bathrooms or kitchens, and serve low-income residents.

Each of the 19 rooms proposed at Valencia Street would include a small kitchen, bathroom, and washer and dryer. Similar units go for more than $2,000 a month. There will also be a 300-square-foot ground floor commercial space. 

One neighbor, who did not wish to be named, expressed surprise that the project was picking up again. Despite steady progress three years ago, the project hit a snag in 2020 when a neighbor filed a discretionary review to reject the building for interfering with his sunlight. 

By the time the discretionary review hit the Planning Commission in November, 2020, however, the neighbor had withdrawn his application for the review. 

It’s unclear when The Phoenix will close. The bar and restaurant first opened in 2001, and became one of the Mission District’s better-known Irish hangouts. It was full of customers on St. Patrick’s Day, 2022. 

At different points, it appeared that something was in the works. In 2018, building owner Eugene Power suddenly fired seven employees, all women, saying business earnings were poor. But rumors abounded that The Phoenix would be sold to build the proposed 19 units. 

Mission Local reached out to Power, and a representative from SIA Consulting, the architecture firm working on the project. This article will be updated if they respond. 

When interviewed in 2018 by Mission Local, The Phoenix manager Michelle Meyer said closing The Phoenix to allow for more housing was fine by her. 

“We need more housing,” she said. “If that’s how it’s going be, that’s how it’s going to be.”

This story is breaking and will be updated. 

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REPORTER. Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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  1. I’ve never stepped foot in this place since the first plans were unveiled.

    Why support a place when the owner and managers don’t care?

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    1. City needs more affordable housing.

      We have quite enough luxury housing, just take a look at the intersection of Mission & Van Ness

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