Zeke's Sports Bar & Grill

With the news that Zeke’s Sports Bar & Grill has lost its lease and will be closing its doors this weekend making the rounds, the question of what’s to become of its space at 600 Third Street remains an unknown.

The bar’s Central Soma parcel at the corner of Brannan is zoned for development up to 65-feet in height but it’s also designated “Service/Light Industrial” which is designed to protect and facilitate “the expansion of existing general commercial, manufacturing, home and business service, live/work use, arts uses, light industrial activities and small design professional office firms.”

Service/Light Industrial zoning doesn’t allow for general office or hotel use. And while a group or low-income housing development could be permitted as a Conditional Use, a traditional condo or apartment project could not.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by HousingWonk

    Yes, yes – because what SF needs is less housing and more auto-body shops! The curse of the Temple of PDR that the professional left has foisted upon the City is forever.

    • Posted by MossyBuddha

      not everyone codes for a living, PDR space is in demand, and PDR industries make up a key part of our local economy. economic diversity>monoculture

  2. Posted by Hunter

    Well, a six-story artisan cocktail paradise centered around small batch ouzo from the founders of popular watering holes Bourbon & Broke and The Devil’s Billfold would work out fine. No?

  3. Posted by redseca2

    What this town needs is a nice car wash/gas station/mini mart/hooker hangout.

  4. Posted by moto mayhem

    live work lofts would work., but hope its at least 8 floors in this central locale

  5. Posted by Dave

    Anything but another 5 story square condo box. The City is being ruined as these small parcels go to sale and mediocrity is built to replace them. The depressing Sunset architecture is being replicated, in a way, throughout much of SF which is sad.

    Two stories is fine here. Efforts to completely upzone the central SOMA to 8 stories, some PTB want even more height which is absurd, are scary and will destroy this area. IMO.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      2 floors, you must be kidding? this is not san leandro. this is walkable to financial district and 8 other neighborhoods. it should be 8 floors minimum

    • Posted by SFRealist

      More than two stories “will destroy this area”. I assume you are kidding and I don’t understand your humor.

      Have you even set foot in this neighborhood?

      • Posted by Brian M

        well, in the context of Dave, everyone is leaving San Francisco for the idyllic shores of Oakland, so 2 stories should be more than enough. No…let’s advocate for a moratorium! No new development! LOL

  6. Posted by Fishchum

    What a POS the building owner is. Zeke’s owner passed away while on vacation in Thailand right before the lease was about to be re-newed and the lease lapsed. Scumbag.

    • Posted by BayviewSF

      So the lease was not renewed simply because Zeke’s will close due to owner’s death?

      • Posted by Fishchum

        Yep.

        In May, Chen’s business partner—who managed the bar’s financials—said he’d re-sign their lease as soon as he returned from a trip to Thailand. Unfortunately, while there, he died suddenly, and the lease went un-renewed, she said.

        When Chen learned that the lease had expired and contacted the landlord, she was told that it was too late, she said. And while she was allowed to re-apply, the landlord chose a new tenant.

        “The landlord didn’t feel sorry about it, just wanted us out,” Chen said. She also speculates that the new tenant was chosen because it offered to rehab the bar’s aging ceiling and floors, which she and her partner were unable to do.

        • Posted by Elitist Pig

          Wait… why does this make the owner a POS? The lease lapsed, death or not, it lapsed. Did the owner murder him? There seems to be no scumbaggery here.

          • Posted by Serge

            Exactly. The lease lapsed, if they really wanted to stay longer they would have renegotiated a new lease BEFORE the old one expired. Not to mention, the new tenant is doing improvements to the property whereas Zeke’s could not?

          • Posted by ess

            I think the general feeling is that some goodwill should have been extended to a long-time tenant. Of course they don’t have to, and business is too rough a place for feels, and so on. And they didn’t. But they could have.

          • Posted by Fishchum

            You’re right. Clearly the owner did everything he/she could to help out a local, beloved business dealing with the death of one of its principles.

          • Posted by Elitist Pig

            Not the owners responsibility, like Serge said, they should have renewed it earlier. This sounds like it’s 100% on the (former) operators of Zeke’s, they only have themselves to blame.

          • Posted by AnonAnon

            Why is it the duty of the owner to “everything he/she could to help out” a lessee who fails to timely renew a lease?

            And frankly they could sell the building and make a killing with more condos, but are instead leasing to another bar/restaurant operator. Seems like you’d complain no matter what they did.

          • Posted by BayviewSF

            Owner did offer the property to Zeke’s to apply for, but the new tenant made a better offer than Zeke’s. It would be a discrimination against newcomers if the owner chose to sign a lease for less with the old tenant. Old tenant and new tenant should be treated equally, no one should be favored.

      • Posted by AnonAnon

        No, the lease lapsed because they didn’t renew it before it expired. Who knows why they didn’t renew it before it expired.

  7. Posted by Emely

    This neighborhood – I can see Zeke’s from my window and have lived here for 9 years so feel qualified to comment 🙂 – has been undergoing an awkward transition for a while now. I have no love lost for Zeke’s or the building, but I think the zoning on this corner is fine to stay as it is, and I am weary of ‘underbuilding’ arguments (that could easily be coming from people who live in areas already built out with single-family dwellings who want to solve the rental/real estate prices issue by stuffing density in neighborhoods they don’t like going anyway, and don’t want that 6-story building going up on their street corner). You can pretty easily search this site for Bryant/Brannan/Townsend/Fourth/Bay Club/Mission Bay/Tishman to get an idea how much residential is either going in or is in planning – it’s substantial.

    I say ‘awkward’ because in addition to being an office center, this really is also a neighborhood, complete with small business owners, residents, historic sites, groceries, retail, bars, etc., some of whom have failed to adapt to the transition from light industrial to urban residential, some of whom have done better. The more people you add, the more of these businesses are required, and that growth isn’t matching the population addition to SoMa, at least not at the moment. All these 5-story boxes and high rises that non-SoMa residents are clamoring for are going to slowly degrade into 90’s mid-Market crud if healthy neighborhood infrastructure isn’t built up around them.

    Leave the corner as a bar and a tax accountant / notary and let Rack Solid continue to install bike racks and ArtHaus continue to bring fine art in. If those businesses rotate out into other ones, like clothing repair / retail, or financial planning, or houseware sales, or god forbid more fitness, so be it, but please focus just as much on developing SoMa as a pleasant place to live as on bringing more housing into SoMa. And ‘ground floor retail with residential tower’ doesn’t always cut it, practically or aesthetically – this type of arrangement struggles in some neighborhoods and works in others, but is by no means a one-size-fits-all approach to solving this problem.

    A lot of the residents of this area are young and don’t mind the lack of garage/schools/park/yard (or are older and never wanted those things anyway). Bars, restaurants, clothing, sports are probably going to be a big part of any area that’s planned this way. A comments section that simultaneously mocks the cocktail bar while calling for 8+ stories is pretty discordant (not that commenters are supposed to get along) but do recognize that’s what’s resulting here because by and large people are clamoring for it.

    • Posted by moto mayhem

      9 yrs does not make you any more qualified

      • Posted by Ohlone Californio

        “qualified to comment” is what was said, not “more qualified.”

    • Posted by brooder

      I live about a block away and I do want to second that we need a few neighborhood amenities – and probably a few more residents as well to support them.

  8. Posted by BayviewSF

    When the property becomes available, everyone should be given an equal opportunity to lease. It would be a disaster if no new business can get a lease and all the old businesses are protected forever.

    • Posted by Neighborhood Activist

      Of course, there’s a proposition on next month’s ballot which proposes to protect old businesses forever. With your money.

  9. Posted by Oh you Know It’s True

    Good! we need another artisan [place] to divorce the young wealthy and stupid from their money with 20 dollar cocktails and pilates studios for their soon to be over 30 spouses. F-you SF, you wanted this, now you got it…

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