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Punch Line SF Wins Back Lease! Morgan Stanley Backs Down From Eviction

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The Punch Line Comedy Club not only avoided getting kicked out this August, but they also scored a multi-year lease and legacy business status on Monday.  North Beach Supervisor Aaron Peskin told the press, “The city and the comic community were serious when we said that displacement wasn’t a laughing matter, I want to acknowledge the staff at the Punch Line and Google for negotiating in good faith and remind the community that organizing gets the goods. Long live the Punch Line!”

The home of Punch Line is on top of the 9 Maritime Plaza complex, which is owned by Morgan Stanley, whose primary tenant is Google.  This Spring Morgan Stanley were set to throw Punch Line out of the complex.  Comedians Dave Chappelle, Nato Green, W. Kamau Bell and many others led the charge against evicting the Punch Line, which has been a historical venue for comedy in America for nearly 40 years.  ( broke the news of the eviction on May 7th, 2019)

Supervisor Aaron Peskin announces an effort by the city to prevent the Punch Line comedy club from shutting down during a rally at San Francisco City Hall.
Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

Morgan Stanely backed down from their refusal to renew the Punch Line lease officially on Monday, Google claimed to be in support for the Punch Line staying in the complex once news of the eviction was made public.

Now, thanks to 6-0 vote, Punch Line has access to the ‘Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund‘ that makes qualifying businesses eligible for Small Business Assistance grants of $500 per employee or up to $50,000 a year. Landlords of Legacy Small Business are eligible for rent stabilization grants of $4.50 per square foot or a total of $22,500 a year for extending leases of Legacy Businesses for a 10 year minimum. Employees are also eligible for annual cash grants of $500 each.

In a climate of eviction and greed in our city, it is very nice to see at least one of our legendary venues protected, with democracy, community support and good faith.  Hope to see y’all laughing about this at the Punch Line soon.

Checkout the Punch Line SF Lineup Here


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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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