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Grubstake Diner Needs Your Help

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Plans for rebuilding the Grubstake Diner beneath 21 middle-income housing units are in limbo because an adjacent condominium building is worried about losing sunlight.

The thing is, all Austin condo owners knew the development was already in the works when they bought in. According to Grubstake:

“[A]ll owners at the Austin were required to sign pre-sale disclosures stating the Grubstake site (which was already in pre-development) would be developed, and would impact light, air, and views on the eastern side of the building where the lightwell exists.”

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Folks at the famous 1525 Pine St. diner are calling on members of the community, particularly the LGBTQ+ community, to come out on at noon on Sept. 27 for a “Save the Grubstake Rally.” The goal is to urge the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to deny what they call a “frivolous CEQA appeal.” The BOS is expected to hear the appeal on Oct. 5.

Supporters are also encouraged to send letters directly to supervisors. 

The Austin CEQA appeal opposes the project, citing a lack of natural light, air and parking as a result of the build, which is designed under a State Density Bonus Program that allows for increased heights in urban housing developments. 

Grubstake says they have tried to address the new neighbors’ concerns with professional light analysis and the addition of UV lights planned into the building’s interior courtyard.

The future of the Grubstake has been sketchy since Jimmy Consos and Nick Pigott bought the building in 2015, shortly after sharing plans to demolish and rebuild the restaurant with a seven-story condo building above. That original plan got scrapped, reworked and eventually turned into an eight-story, mixed-use, 21-unit housing development…with the diner preserved as much as possible on the ground level. That proposal was approved in July by the Planning Commission in a 4-2 vote. 

For those who don’t know, the Grubstake is a buildout of a 1919 lunch wagon that operated as “The Red Caboose” and the “Orient Express” before taking on the Grubstake name in 1967.  

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.

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