While San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has granted Teatro ZinZanni and its financial partner, Kenwood Investments, the exclusive right to negotiate with the Port of San Francisco to develop Seawall Lots 323 and 324, two current parking lot parcels which front the Embarcadero between Broadway and Green, the Planning Department has panned ZinZanni’s proposed development plan.

As proposed, the development includes a 40-foot-tall hotel with up to 200 rooms on the southern third of the site, a 7,500-square-foot public park on the northern third of the site, and ZinZanni’s historic “Spiegeltent” enclosed within a bird-friendly glass gazebo and a back of the house outbuilding on the middle third of the site which is technically an unimproved right-of-way for Vallejo Street between Davis and the Embarcadero.

From the City’s preliminary review of ZinZanni’s plans in a letter to the development team last week:

“The Urban Design Element of the San Francisco General Plan discourages the vacation of streets for private ownership. In this case, it is especially significant since the unimproved Vallejo right-of-way represents an important view toward the waterfront, the historic bulkhead of Pier 9, and the Embarcadero.

Therefore, the Planning Department is challenged to support the vacation of the Vallejo right-of-way in the manner currently proposed because the proposed Circus Tent will block views to the Embarcadero and impede physical connections to the waterfront. The Department recommends the project explore alternatives that may include location of the theater on the parcel to the north – outside the public right of way – connected via a promenade, or even possibly a covered walkway, provided the walkway be open during the day to east/west pedestrian movements along the Vallejo Street right-of-way, and that it be designed to maximize transparency through the structure.

Alternately, the project team may wish to consider reducing the footprint of the hotel to include the theater component within the seawall parcel to the south. After exploring these alternatives, should the project team choose to present an evidenced-based argument establishing the clear infeasibility of any reasonable approach other than a vacation, it would be incumbent on the project team to work collaborative with the Department to ensure siting of all building elements within the former right of way in a fashion so as to minimize impacts to pedestrian movement and visual connectivity.

Regardless of the issue of street vacation, the current proposal locates the theater’s back-of house directly adjacent to the proposed public open space. The Planning Department recommends that public space be activated and not be fronted with “back of house” functions. One such means might include an outdoor seasonal theater with an exterior stage, or dining terrace. The proposed open space should be connected to and integrated with the public realm to the greatest extent possible.”

The impact to the view corridor down Vallejo Street as proposed (and as currently exists):

And a slightly closer perspective (but still from two blocks away):

Teatro ZinZanni had operated out of a semi-permanent tent on Pier 27 from 2000 to 2011 but was displaced for the America’s Cup and development of San Francisco’s new Cruise Ship Terminal.

195 thoughts on “Planning Pans Teatro ZinZanni’s Waterfront Plan”
  1. F.F.S.

    If a city planner wants to be an architect or a designer, then they should quit and to join a design firm. And if the city wants the Vallejo ROW preserved, then it should condemn it. But they can’t invite a plan for *all* this project on this tiny, oddly shaped (and vertically constrained) site and then broadly pan the result. There’s only so much that can be done in this truncated triangular envelope and still be economically viable.

    1. A valid complaint, but every designer and architect has a client, and the client can define the parameters. If the architect can’t work within the parameters, maybe there’s a more creative architect who can.

        1. worse, the planning dept is among the architect’s client’s clients. Planning and the other govt agencies, branches, and jurisdictions with a say represent the community from which derives the meaning and rights of property ownership. And of course in this case the community itself actually owns the real property as well.

          The architect’s immediate clients only have a right to negotiate. And that right was granted with a long list of conditions including “Teatro and TZK and the Port are committed to designing the proposed Project to meet the other design objectives of the Waterfront Plan, the City Planning Department’s Northeastern Waterfront Subarea Plan, and the Northeast Embarcadero Study, including: a design that respects the Northeast Waterfront Historic District, provides plentiful and high quality public access, pedestrian improvements and bicycle parking for attendees of events at the Site and addresses neighborhood concerns, including building heights; and…”

          “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    2. Condemn it ?? Isn’t it already publicly owned ….that’s what “vacation of the Vallejo right-of-way” implies.

      1. Fine, but the point is that if preserving the ROW was of paramount importance, then that should have been made clear from the get-go — rather than as a post-application comment slamming a design that parties spent months (and tens of thousands of dollars) to create. The point is that this site is already incredibly constrained in shape, density, use and height – the Planning Department’s desires and pipe dreams can only reach so far, and they risk ruining this project completely (such that it stays a waterfront parking lot for yet another decade) all for the sake of a “view corridor” for a street that’s only 3 blocks long.

        1. No you don’t get it. The fact that it is legally public ROW and copious amounts of adopted city policy both discouraging giving up ROW for buildings and preserving view corridors to the waterfront make it not the Planning Dept’s burden to prove that something other than that is good. It is the burden of the developer to prove that overriding all of those facts and policies is better.

    3. You realize this is what goes on…unqualified City Planners overstep the paperwork, and requirements, to present problems and criteria they’ve created. The hoops are often their own personal whims and biases, and there’s no watchdog.

      1. Why isn’t the City Planning Director the watchdog? Is he just on permanent vacation while collecting an inflated salary?

        1. One would think, right?

          The Zoning Administrator seems to be King of this clown car.
          Even the commissioners and BOS bow to his decree, even when they appear to disagree with him and Planning’s self created problems. Planners run everything by him. He’s somehow avoided scrutiny so far.

    4. Teatro Zin Zanni is the Highlight of SF city life. It shud keep its unique flare and iconic tent. City planners’s job is to service for the best interest of tax payers, not to block to their own preference. We really love the show the way it was and wish it can be re-opened soon. It’s really taking too long. City is the blocker, why?

    1. The view is hardly destroyed, but I would have to agree with you on siding with planning. If Vallejo Street has a public ROW, then they can’t build anything substantial on it.

    2. I’m seeing a lot of wires and blocky buildings, and the glassed portion of the tent is truly the most intriguing part of the view–probably even more so at night with its enticements of lights.

  2. I just say make it beautiful and develop the waterfront. It should be the nicest area in San Francisco. Everywhere along the water on the embarcadero should be filled with restaurants, and people! Make it design worthy please.

  3. So instead of seeing traffic backed up on the Embarcadero, you’d see a small building with more trees in front of it. I’m not ‘seeing’ their argument apparently.

    1. Me neither, not apparently but literally. I almost posted that the “before” pic had mistakenly been posted twice until I squinted and saw that little tiny building blocking the view to the ground-level surface of the Embarcadero and some parked cars. The rest of the view appears intact. There’s more view corridor blockage from the trees in that photo than from the rendered building. Slap a living wall on the thing and it would disappear.

      1. That picture shows the view from Cowell, which is ~2.5 blocks away from the Embarcadero and about one story higher. From that far away you can hardly see any of the Embarcadero. Keep going up the hill and you can see over all the buildings. But just below at Battery eastward it is about level with Embarcadero and from there this proposed building would obscure most of the view of the Pier building. Personally, I don’t care much about that view, but it isn’t fair to judge it from the perspective in that picture.

        1. Three blocks from the waterfront, Vallejo dramatically rises, at the fourth block it becomes a pedestrian stair up the hill.

          It’s ABSURD to protect a “view corridor” that serves the peds on three city blocks.

      2. Ha! I thought the pic had been posted twice too – I didn’t notice the building in the “after”.

  4. UPDATE: We’ve since added a second set of before and rendered after pics of the Vallejo view corridor from a slightly closer perspective (but which is still from over two blocks away).

  5. Sorry, but I want a VR rendering to walkthrough. SS needs to enter the fantasy future.

    Anyway, if this view of a pier building is to be preserved, then should the same hold for the view along Jackson, currently and temporarily blocked by the tennis court? And what about the view down Clay, should we open that up?

    1. Great idea. Maybe someone could come up with plans for redeveloping the private club – open up the old street corridor, perhaps in exchange for some denser development to supply much-needed housing – say, lower along Embarcadero, and then higher towards the already-existing Gateway Center highrises…

    2. The “temporary blocking of the Jackson view” is no longer temporary. The 8 Washington project is dead.

      1. It’s all temporary. Remember the bigendian part of this parcel that is south of the ghost of Vallejo St is only available for development because a long forgotten Mayor (Spiro Agnew?) demolished the art work that used to be there.

        That nice James Hansen and his merry band of climatologists predict we will be able to extend the Jackson St wharf from the Montgomery St waterfront in 50-100 years from now, just like our forefathers did 150 years ago. All in good time, sooner or later.

  6. While I have no issue with a building terminating the street, they should make it nice to look at and not a brick wall with a couple of trees in front of it. I mean, come on already.

    1. You may disagree with the planning department, but the vitriol is uncalled for. Public (but not private) view corridors are protected in the code. If you’re going to ignore the code, at least put something other than the “back of the house outbuilding” there.

  7. I tend to want to preserve the street. 100 years from now it will be the answer to a San Francisco history trivia question: Why doesn’t Vallejo Street not continue to the Embarcadero?

    Answer: From 2018 to the earthquake of 2027 there was a circus tent located there.

  8. The zoned height is ridiculously too low. A very reasonable building of greater stories could easily be able to accommodate a financially viable hotel * and * the theater within the main block. Of course, Peskin’s THDs would never let that happen.

  9. I bet almost nobody spewing ‘build build build’ would even remember this because they weren’t here when there wasn’t something to exploit for a quick buck… but… the highest and best use of this space was when it was the temporary farmer’s market during the rehab of the Embarcadero. Literally you could stroll around and get your ingredients while greeting everyone from Alice Waters to Jeremiah Tower to Joyce Goldstein and Judy Rogers. Shopping for their kitchens. It was a highest and best use. And for a short time it wasn’t a dead “parcel” soon to be filled with a dead “transit (for the) rich luxury short term rental asset class investment” with a stainless steel soul.

    1. Jeremiah Tower, Joyce Goldstein, Judy Rogers and Alice Waters….THOSE were the days! I was just trying to explain to someone who has only lived here for 4 years what Stars Restaurant was like. To this day there is nothing like the energy one felt in the Stars dining room where you were guaranteed to see political leaders, celebrities, artists, writers and business pioneers all mixing, laughing, eating, drinking and just having fun.

      1. I used to end my bar crawl at Stars with a last cocktail at the bar because of the very dependable line of taxis waiting at the door to take you home. Several times I found myself sitting with Willy Brown. Strangely, all I recall talking about with him was high end hi-fi equipment.

  10. Yeah, the original farmer’s market was nice and had more small town feeling, but it was stuck in that parking lot because the to-be-named Herb Caen Way was a mess for years between being torn up for construction north of the ferry building and then the loooong delay while willie brown fussed over where to build the skate park in front of the ferry building (middle of the road won).

    Fortunately, we blewup that cozy, clanish, provincial, and deeply insular era with the Internet of connectedness (and ~$200 billion in VC money) that finally brought SF into the modern technical whirl.

  11. the unimproved Vallejo right-of-way represents an important view toward the waterfront

    There are, I would guess, over 200 street views towards the waterfront. Even along just the pretty waterfront between Fort Mason and the stadium, there must be over 100. What makes this one “important”? Granted, it’s a direct hit on one of the entrances to the wharves (which itself is blocking the view of the water and the far shore).

    If the City, in all its tentacles, didn’t want this street-lett developed, it should have said so at the get-go.

  12. This site has some of the most snarky cranks I’ve ever seen. Just because you have no taste and/or want a gas station at ever corner doesn’t mean others should share your tacky suburban views. At least understand who does what and why before giving your opinion.

    1. Most people here aren’t snarky because we don’t understand what people want. We are snarky because the average San Franciscan wants at least three completely incompatible things to happen at the same time.

    2. Plenty of suburban gas station looking structures gaining approval…I don’t think Planning acted because they share your opinion.

  13. This is just silly. The Zinzanni tent was a wonderful part of the waterfront for a long time before, and I’m not the only San Franciscan who misses it greatly. Please stop hindering the TZ comeback! <3

  14. Bring back Teatro ZinZanni – it is valuable member of the San Francisco Theater community. It is unique and interesting.

  15. I love ZinZanni and look forward to its return to our city. Let’s not forget it’s historic tent is iconic, beautiful, and very much a part of the waterfront experience.

  16. Leave it the way it is. It add to the flavor and uniqueness of the Embarcadero. It the city has it removed they will turn it into a parking lot to generate more income for the city.

  17. I was sorry the tent left in the first place. It ruined my night out every 3-6 months.

    City: we need this back. Please allow it on our waterfront.

  18. I have been early anticipating the return of Teatro ZinZanni. When they were here in SF, I went to see the show a handful of times…each time taking new family/friends who were visiting SF. The City cannot forget nor reject Teatro ZinZanni’s return. Their tent is part of the waterfront….we all miss that lovable tent reminding all of us that there is another great entertainment options for all. Please I urge the City Planners to bring back our beloved Teatro ZinZanni!

  19. The tent and teatro zinzanni is a landmark I loved in San Francisco and should be added back. One of the best experiences I’ve had by far!

  20. Zinzanni is a city treasure. The tent makes is spectacular, artistic and fully represents that flavor that is slowly being lost in our city. Build the tent and give locals and tourists and amazing evening that they will remember all their lives.

  21. Since my company started we have always looked forward to our annual visit to the tent and event. So many friends and customers recognize the tent as Teatro ZinZanni and its unique atmosphere it creates. We miss them

  22. The Spiegel tent is what makes it Teatro ZinZanni. There are songs and dances all over the city, but how many theatrical experiences happen in a century old circus tent? It is so integral to the entire experience. The moment you walk through the entrance, you are encapsulated in another world. Brick and mortar just can’t compare.

  23. The uniqueness and novelty of San Francisco is what made San Francisco. City Planners should be ashamed. Teatro ZinZanni was one of the many things that attracted both tourists and locals and should be brought back to have a permanent home. Their tent and their show does not detract from the wonder of the waterfront, but rather adds a great deal (including history!). As these places disappear, how are we to continue to love anything but a memory of what once was a beautiful city?

  24. We are long time fans of Teatro ZinZanni and we miss it! It is one of the best shows in town and the tent is a huge part of the essential look and feel of the show. We ALWAYS take our friends, family, and out of town visitors to the show when they come visit. I really do not understand why all the fuss at all. It has been a beautiful staple and fantastic entertainment experience on the waterfront and should remain just as it has been; a historic tent that is iconic, beautiful, and very much a part of the waterfront experience.

  25. Teatro Zinzanni is a very special piece of history and culture on the waterfront–quirky and dynamic like the city itself. It would be a real loss if the theatre were unable to retain the Spiegel tent and return to operation.

  26. The ZinZanni tent is iconic to the history and the magic that the show provides its audience. It would be a beautiful addition to the already culture felled waterfront.

    1. What does ‘iconic to the history and the magic that the show provides’ mean? Iconic means like an icon. Culture felled? A tree is felled. What do you mean?

  27. I am a long time fan and patron of Teatro ZinZanni and the tent (spiegel) is the key to it’s identity to me and the others I have seen the shows with. The City of San Francisco shines a little less brightly without TZ as an attraction. I beg you to allow them to reinstate the spiegel and let them open their doors again. I miss spending the day in SF and the night at TZ. It’s a wonderful experience I want to share with my children before they move away to college.
    Mark V.

  28. Teatro ZinZanni and it’s historic tent are iconic, beautiful, and very much a part of the waterfront experience.

  29. Theatre and art combine with Teatro Zinzanni. The experience begins with the tent. The immersion into the show happens within the tent. Planners need to recognize that the waterfront is not about new buildings, but about honoring history and art. Teatro ZinZanni’s tent reflects both.

  30. Oh, boy, Zinzanni marketing e-mail distro on blast, avid fans of schlocky schtick write in enthusiastically.

    What’s different about this group of itinerant song-and-dancers? Why not a permanent Def Leppard tribute band stage location? They could probably pitch a spiegel too…


  31. We need Teatro ZinZanni back in SF…with their awesome Speigeltent intact!!! Please allow them to return to their Bay Area home, and to add that extra pizzaz to San Francisco!!

  32. The tent is iconic and needs to be preserved. Teatro ZinZanni should deb back in SF and the tent along with it. The historical significance fits right in the historical make-up of the City.

    1. What about that bush guy from fisherman’s wharf? He hides behind a big branch and then jumps out at tourists. Like candid camera but with no camera. Still VERY funny. I vote we allocate the foot of Vallejo street to a small urban glen where a dozen bush guys can lurk and jump out at every other bus full of tourists.

  33. We really miss the Zin Zanni beautiful tent and great show. We love the look and think it is a great addition to the water front area. We hope it is back in business very soon.

  34. We have been visiting Teatro ZinZanni since it first arrived in San Francisco. It is truly unique and like Beach Blanket Babylon, fits very nicely into what makes San Francisco so very special. Whenever we have guests from out of town, they always want to visit SF for a day of shopping followed by TZ or Beach Blanket Babylon in the evening. Please, let the Spiegel tent rise on the existing, ugly parking lot. It’s been gone for too long.

  35. The tent is an essential part of what makes Teatro Zinzanni an amazing experience that I take everyone who visits us to. It has so much character and charm. For me that is always what makes San Francisco so appealing…the openness to embrace that which is different. The last thing we need is to turn away this opportunity in favor of something generic and boring.

  36. Speaking of Pier 27, it’s been open for a few years now. Are there any articles which examine how it’s doing? I’ve noted that the last few times I’ve gone past, there’s been a big sign that says “LOW RATE PARKING AVAILABLE”, which would be fine for a disused vacant lot, but doesn’t exactly engender confidence for a major public investment.

  37. I guess that I don’t see the issue. The location is a parking lot! One article that I read said that the Planning department has a problem with the tent. This discussion seems to be about the corridor view down Vallejo, so I took a virtual walk on Google Maps to refresh my memory. From what is shown in the pictures here, at the lower elevation close to the project, part of the Pier 9 building will be blocked, okay… so? You cannot see the Bay, anyway! In fact there are trees that block the view down the corridor on Vallejo and you cannot even see the end of the street. So what’s the issue? As you go up Vallejo, the view is little affected. You can see right over the proposed project and see the Bay, so there is little if no affect on the view. I give the project a thumbs up and say let them use the tent! I love the nostalgia and diversity that the City offers and it would be wonderful to have Zinzanni and the tent back again!

    1. You must have missed this part of it: “unimproved Vallejo right-of-way represents an important view toward the waterfront, the historic bulkhead of Pier 9, and the Embarcadero.”

  38. Umm, I liked Teatro Zinzanni very much myself the sole time we got dragged to it (I don’t often frequent places or events suitable for the safe, large-scale amusement of out-of-town guests), but you guys extolling this SF icon do realize Zinzanni was born and raised in Seattle, yes?

    Also if something is legitimately an icon shouldn’t it be at least as old as Cher? The tent itself might be getting there, but as the venue for this performance company in this city it’s a mere teenager.

  39. To all the new posters… the people on this board have no actual power – most of the regular posters here wanted a wall on the waterfront and look at where that got us. Appealing to the members of this board as if we have power is kind of pointless.

  40. I love the beauty and elegance of the tent. It feels like one is stepping back in time when walking in.

    I love the idea of the tent. Just seeing it along the waterfront would remind me how much fun it was to experience the show. It wouldn’t be the same at all if it was held in a traditional building. That is so boring compared to the tent.

    I live in Palm Springs but visit my daughter in SF. It is tradition to see the show when we get together. There are other friends and family that would love to go based on my telling hem how wonderful it was. To me, it was a landmark attraction that made those who passed by the tent in wonderment eager to join the show. I hated that it closed down and can’t wait to re-experience the exitement and joy of the overall performance.

    The tent is a big part of that experience. Please don’t put it in a boring building.

  41. Yeah, if planning followed Socketsite comment herd stampedes we would probably already have a skyscraper on that parking lot.

    Regarding the tent, reportedly ZZ has been told they can have the tent if they just locate it differently, suggested on the Broadway side, but otherwise not on the Vallejo Street right-of-way.

    In the more than century and a half annals of the SF waterfront, calling a 10-year import from Seattle “iconic” or “historic” earns an ironic hyperbole award, with newbie flamewar clusters.

    Always thought it was kinda kitsch myself, but then whenever I hear of culture… I unlock my clowning.

    1. Kinda my personal sentiments as well, but I desperately want to see SOMEthing built there to replace that damn parking lot.

  42. The Teatro ZinZani tent is a joy! It is a beautiful antique and deserves its place on the Emarcadero!

  43. Am I the only one tired of hearing how long this is taking? Was a TZ fan- lots of emails needing or wanting our “support” and voice. Get the show in the road or move on. Let’s go.

  44. Spiegel tent is what makes it Teatro ZinZanni. There are songs and dances all over the city, but how many theatrical experiences happen in a century old circus tent? It is so integral to the entire experience. The moment you walk through the entrance, you are encapsulated in another

  45. Please, please, please let Teatro ZinZanni come back! They will bring a ton of people to the city! Their show is amazing! My parents brought me to their show for my 21st birthday and I’ve never forgotten my experience. I really want to be able to come to another show again!! PLEASE, you HAVE to let them return to the city in their tent! That’s what it’s all about!

  46. Something so cool as that tent should not be viewed as non-compatable. How pretentious. The city is about personality and uniqueness fo-gawds-sake.

  47. My wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary in the Teatro ZinZanni tent and had a most wonderful experience. Being in such a world class venue, surrounded by other strangers and friends, not to mention the fantastic show cast, was absolutely fantastic. We have been anxiously awaiting their return to our most favorite city and will eagerly travel again from Maryland. Please make it so, (to coin a phrase.)

  48. Teatro Zinzanni should have the tent. It’s ridiculous they city would even question it. Besides the golden gate and Alcatraz it is definitely one of the best attractions and most original San Francisco had. Bring it back please!

  49. Of course Teatro ZinZanni’s stunning, unique, iconic, historic and gorgeous Spiegeltent should be approved as part of bringing back this much-loved, actually beloved, entertainment back to the San Francisco waterfront experience! Our city’s crown is missing a jewel. Echoing some sentiments others have voiced – why is this even being questioned? Obviously, the ones questioning this have not experienced the magic and transformation of spirit and soul that is the heart of Teatro ZinZanni. Without question, the people of TZ (as we aficionados affectionately call it) are sensitive to our SF community’s need and know how to do it right – just give them the green light and make sure you have tickets to the long-anticipated opening night.

  50. I suggest writing to your supervisor or maybe trying to get an editorial in the Chronicle.

    I’ve written to Jane Kim many times. She usually does the opposite of what I want and has never responded. But all of you might have better luck than me with your elected officials.

    Also the planning commission has email addresses posted here.

    (Yes, I’m being snarky, I’ve been to TZ and truly enjoyed it. It’s just that no one here can actually do anything.)

  51. the Teatro ZinZanni dinning and entertainment combination draws countless people from all over northern California, out of state as well as around the world with their fine dinning and elaborate shows. those of us who reside in the bay area love to take our family and friends there as part of their San Francisco, the city by the bay experience. the revenue for the city of San Francisco, as well as all the additional monies the city receives from Teatro ZinZanni from customers both before as well as after all performances . . . . . it is beyond me why this beautiful buildings structure and shape is a red herring for the people in the cities planning and approvals departments. Teatro ZinZanni is very much a San Francisco experience and legendary. to not allow them to continue to conduct business in the city by the bay would allow them to move away, denying us all of this unique pleasure which has graced the city and given people more of to visit and spend our money there.

  52. ZinZanni and it’s historic tent are iconic, beautiful, and very much a part of the waterfront experience. The Bay Area echoes that!

  53. This kind of dispute on appearance is what an architect is for. Now, Zinzanni and their architect will need to work on the design. It should be able to satisfy both the planning comission and the artistic needs of Zinzanni. I have an architecture background, and this is just a place to start from for the designers. good communication and a creative mind should be able to solve the problem.

    I am an East Bay resident,born in SF ( as was my Mother) but we come to the City less frequently now, and would dearly love to have Zinzanni back. It is a very special event/place and we had spent many special occasions there. If both parties work together this should be solvable. San Francisco can use and I suspect would love to have another different compelling attraction in this area.

  54. So many people have been waiting for the return of TZ along with it’s iconic tent! Please bring it back!

  55. For god sakes SF City, let TZ come back and have their tent. That has always been their trade mark for the faboulous dinner show. I realy miss them. San Francisco bosts that we are liberal, have some of the best places to eat out of all themajor cities and have some of the best theatre and shows.

    So I asked to look at this. Not letting TZ have there tent, is like not having Beach Blanket have their hats! Take those away and what have you got?? Nothing!

  56. Just drive up Miami Beach past the Fontainebleau on the A1A, so you can see how to ruin a fabulous waterfront. That’s what the money grubbers want to do to us here in SF, so they can race over to the Caymen Islands and cash their checks in secret. No thanks. Tent or Farmer’s Market or Parking lot — I call that a multi-disciplinary arts space by comparison. Versus just one more ugly 1% condo slab. Period. Finito. Done. Like a steak at Alfreds.

  57. Teatro ZinZanni’s is the best thing that happened in SF. The tent is what makes this incredible show. We sent every New Year’s Eve there and brought friends throughout the year. This is an incredible show and the tent is not cheesy in any way. All there friends that came said it was the best thing they have seen. let them build it back SF. It must have brought in a lot of revenue, doesn’t that matter. We wantTeatro ZinZanni’s back, the way it was!

  58. This is the shlliest I’ve seen SS in years. Seriously, did TZ fans nationwide get an email blast telling them to come here and sing its praises?

    I went once, thought it was OK, and never went back. I think a majority of its business was 20 and 30-somethings taking their parents who were in town for a visit.

  59. Teatro ZinZanni is very much a part of San Francisco! I was so disappointed to not find it in the usual place. It is ridiculous that city planning is having issues with it being on the waterfront. It belongs there!

  60. The tent is part of the show – a BIG part of the show, and it was a big part of San Francisco’s waterfront for years before. Why is there a problem with it now? So it blocks or view of a parking lot. I’d look at that as a favor! The fact is, it doesn’t block any more of the waterfront view than the Pier building that already exists at the site behind it.

    Yes, the tent is “different,” but isn’t that what San Francisco embraces??

    Maybe the planning department should look at the glass entrance to the Louvre to see how another country has embraced stylistic differences.

    1. I heartily concur! I’d much rather look at the part of this view that hints at mystery, intrigue, and Barbary Coast than the hideous cranes in the background…as a tourist, I would be drawn towards the tents lights.

  61. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why anyone would call this an “important view”.

    There are lots of offensive wires, cranes, and blocky old (and not very aesthetic ) pier buildings already blocking the view of the waters of the Bay, and i used to park in that parking lot all the time back in the 90’s. it was always an eyesore. The small bit of the tent that you’ll see is really the only interesting thing to look at! Who is objecting to this construction; who specifically, what personages?

  62. Uh, what is this fabulous ROW we are talking about preserving? It is currently a PARKING LOT. Kind of a junky one at that. I suppose pedestrians can cut through it, but there is no “view” to speak of, just parked cars and the traffic on the Embarcadero.

    My understanding was that when Teatro Zinzanni was forced to vacate its previous location to accommodate the America’s Cup, the Port and the City of San Francisco promised to relocate it near the waterfront after the event. TZ lost a ton of money by being forced to dismantle their unique venue and storing their tent and other equipment. Now they must invest much more money to rebuild and reopen. They have jumped through all the hoops that the Port and the City have placed before them thus far, and now, suddenly, Planning wants to protect a virtually nonexistent view and pedestrian access where there have been only parked cars for decades?!

    TZ’s planned complex would be a welcome improvement to this ugly, oddly shaped and difficult to develop parcel. They are a terrific and popular addition to the SF scene, providing a delightful and exhilarating experience like no other. They have been greatly missed. Let the project go forward!

  63. When I look down that street, well, gee, there’s a tree in the way – so cut that down. And then there are all those crappy power lines overhead – get rid of those. And then, what’s that? Oh yeah, a bridge – that sucks. And those things in the distance on the other side of the shore? yeah: get rid of those too…. and so on.

    Sure, if we could all eat “pie in the sky” we’d burn the whole city to the ground and start over from scratch. But we can’t – so why put the entire burden of the “failed perfect view” on one business?

    Why? Because you’re you think you’re an architect, but you’re not, you’re a city planner.

    What’s going to happen, if allowed is the city is going to reject every plan because it’s not “perfect” for years leaving the view completely junky, as it is now, for ever, while denying a truly great business the ability to bring in amazing talent, exceptional experiences, income, taxes, and memories for lifetimes to come.

    TZ is one of the only reasons I would drive into the city. And once there, of course I spent my money on other things as well.

    Have a look at what Bjarke Bundgaard Ingels (a Danish Architect) is doing in NY right now.

    I think the TZ plan has more interest than the rest of the boring, tired buildings that are already there (and everywhere). If the city was serious about having it “look amazing” they would allow TZ to build their amazingness and then insist that the other buildings be torn down and built to match.

  64. I really miss the tent on the waterfront. I sincerely hope the city allows it to come back. Not only is the Zinzanni show terrific and a unique offering for this city, but the tent is reminiscent of the history of this city as a place where rogues, dandies, pirates, and those seeking their fortune would land to make their way and the entertainers of all sorts that would come into town to delight them all and make a buck. But this tent does so in a luxurious and upscale way that makes us modern San Franciscans feel like we can have a taste of the past with the luxury and convenience of the modern.

  65. Please allow the tent. It is a part of the experience and a part of what makes SF unique. I miss the tent that used to stand on the waterfront and it would be a shame to never see it again.

  66. After seeing other venues closing this is one that should be allowed as it was a tradition in our family and many other family as well!! The view down Vallejo street is already obstructed by other buildings and the purposed Teatro ZinZanni looks like a beautiful addition to the Embacadero waterfront and the glass theater would entice people walking by to enjoy the event themselves.

    Teatro ZinZanni brings an element to SF that the city is known for…great entertainment, food and with the new design a gorgeous hotel making the experience complete. Please allow us to have our Teatro ZinZanni back…have missed it so very much!!!

  67. Bring TZ and the tent back! Many people have been long anticipating this return! The most unique and awe inspiring live performance I have ever seen!

  68. It’s been over 5 years…there has been so many road blocks on this wonderful cultural showcase called Teatro Zinzanni. The city should keep their end of the bargain, and wecome TZ back now. We have already lost 5 years of magic.The tent IS part of San Fransisco’s history.It should be taken out of storage and remain up in the city, on the spot promised, there for everyone to enjoy.

  69. May as well take this to the extreme.

    My wife has terminal cancer and the only thing she wants before she shuffles off this mortal coil is to see Teatro ZinZanni. Please bring it back! She only has a month!

    My whole family – 30 of them – wants to visit SF from Paris, stay in high-end hotels, eat at the best restaurants, and go on an elaborate shopping spree, injecting hundreds of thousands of dollars into the SF economy. But the primary attraction is Teatro ZinZanni, so if that doesn’t come back, they will all just stay home.

    The Bay is a hideously ugly cesspool. The only pretty thing on the entire waterfront was the Teatro ZinZanni tent. Please bring it back!

    In recent weeks, I’ve attended the SF Opera, SF Ballet, SF Symphony, SF JAZZ, plays at A.C.T. and SF Playhouse. All crap. I will never drive into SF again except to see Teatro ZinZanni. Bring it back now!

  70. I moved to SF in 1975, became a Street mime and tap dancer and supported myself for 25 years…we were imported to Miami because SF mimes had such a reputation for being part of great city where people could really be excentric… tourists the loved street scene and it was part of the city…but there was always a certain resistance …later I went on to be the Crazy Crab another unique SF Icon for this crazy Barbary Coast City…. then moved away when I was hired by Teatro ZinZanni…17 years many shows, so many people love what we do and another Seattle and SF icon….It brings magic to the city by a company not greedy, but to bring love & laughter in a world with with so much darkness…TZ moved because big money got it’s way…there is no better view in SF then what the tent will bring and what it stands for….the cost to see the show is a bargin …I love the city, but can’t afford to live there…haven’t we ruined enough of what made SF great…stop with the big money and bring back the magic!!!

  71. Of course the tent should be allowed. It’s central to the Teatro Zinzanni experience and will add an element of fun to the waterfront. The uniqueness of this attraction fits right in with San Francisco’s diverse personality.

  72. I can only add my heartfelt endorsement of Teatro Zinzanni and their plan. I think the impact it will have for the positive will easily outweigh any negative. They add to both the arts and entertainment here in the city, bring many jobs (more with the new hotel) and add to the City’s tourism as well. I am all for it.

    1. My wife hasn’t had a Mai Tai since freebie “happy hour” @our Waikiki hotel last January. It wasn’t pretty.

  73. We read constantly about art and artists being forced out of the City, and how the City wants to create ways to keep them here. We see large public art pieces in various locations in the City, including the Embarcadero area. Teatro Zinzanni and its iconic and beautiful Spiegel tent can be part of the artistic goals of San Francisco, and another item of interest along the waterfront.

    Come on Planning Department folks, thinking you know better you have messed up on other issues in various neighborhoods, and not listed to the residents.

    There are enough boring high rise buildings going up, and they are obviously fine in your opinion. But add a wonderful, delightful, interesting Spiegel tent and it does not meet your vision! This is not a City of boring and mundane. Please don’t make it so. My vote – Teatro Zinzanni’s Spiegel tent is given the stamp of approval.

  74. Bring Tetro Zinzanni tent and performers back! It was a “not to miss” show when visiting San Francisco. The most unique and FUN live performance I have ever seen! ALLOW THE TENT!

  75. My boyfriend took me there for my birthday the last year they were here and it was a magical experience and a ton of fun. What made it so real was the Spiegel tent. It made me feel like I was in a different world and era. Please! The tent is an integral part of Teatro ZinZanni’s performance. It must be allowed to continue to be used. I am very much looking forward to their return so I can experience the wonders of Teatro ZinZanni again!

  76. ZinZanni and it’s historic tent are iconic, beautiful, and very much a part of the waterfront experience.

  77. ZinZanni and it’s historic tent are iconic, and unique! its what makes the overall experience what it is!

  78. The tent adds to the enjoyment and atmosphere of Teatro ZinZanni and TZZ is a uniquely great experience in every way. I took my granddaughter there for one of her birthdays just prior to the closing and she still relives the experience.

    Give me TZZ as opposed to all the horror on TV and in the movies. Attractions like TZZ make the world a happier place.

  79. When it was open on the Embarcadero I went there many time and held large corporate events that everyone enjoyed immensely! I certainly do miss it and I can’t wait for the re-opening. The water from area has been missing something special with its absence. I always thought the tent was a great thematic touch and certainly added to the divers and hospitable feeling of the area. I say bring back the tent! (Please!)

  80. Teatro ZinZanni is a great part of SF, the tent was a major part of the City’s skyline for a very long time, has the city forgotten that. The tent is what makes ZinZanni.the incredible show it is. We went every New Year’s Eve and took friends whenever they visited.

  81. Teatro ZinZanni’s historic tent is a waterfront icon and its absence would diminish the one of a kind experience which is Teatro ZinZanni. The tent is a beautiful piece of art and should be looked at as such. It’s visual impact would only add to the beauty of the waterfront, not hinder it. This discussion is foolishness and benefits no one other than those exercising their power. The tent has been sadly missed by all. Bring the tent back please!

  82. Dear SS:

    Are you really expecting us to believe that ALL those new names here are different people? This is a complete joke, and virtually everyone of the clever monikers is a plant supporting the project and the “tent”.

    To my knowledge, there has NEVER been this many quick, fake names addressing one particular project as now. I suspect strongly that these names are ALL set up by the subject property sponsor.

    1. The support might have been rallied, but despite your suspicions and lack of knowledge we have, the names, email addresses and unique IP addresses of the comments above have not been “faked” nor spoofed.

      1. Sorry SS. No, you’re not hearing me. Of course they were all “faked” as if each of these is a genuine new commenter to this site. We know they are fake, because they show up just once and then go away.

        The support “might” have been rallied? Really?

        Yes, I suppose anyone with any moniker can comment here. I get that, but it seems to undermine the legitimate, on going commenters here who offer genuine ideas and challenges.

        1. Again, we have more information and knowledge about the genesis of each comment above than you’ll ever possess. And each comment above does indeed appear to be from “a genuine new commenter,” not only with unique IP addresses but from a large range of ISPs as well.

      2. Socketsite is getting comment spam. Many many of the exact same comments above are posted on yesterday’s sfexaminer article (namelink). Very naughty of these iconic tent followers. I wonder if they are using a service/pluggin for comment spamming, er social broadcasting.

        Some reporter should ask Teatro ZinZanni mgmt or their PR firm about their reach out and spam everyone cultural heritage. While overinflated pr is an honored SF tradition, comment spamming is poor netiquette.

        1. Exactly. I would prefer that SS acknowledge this rather than offer up pretty flimsy and somewhat snarky rebuttals to my observations.

          I can handle the snark, at least.

          1. To be clear, we broke the story and the Examiner – and a share of their readership and commenters – followed the next day.

            We’re not sure why you’re shocked that some of those genuine new commenters would consistently say the same thing on two different sites, or why you’d characterize that as spam.

            But as we tried to explain above, it’s not a bot, nefarious individual, nor a cut and paste service in play. At least not on SocketSite.

          2. SS is getting comment spammed period. Starting with the comment above “Posted by S. Rice” that begins “This is just silly.”, which was word for word posted on sfexaminer hours before it posted on SS.

            This has nothing to do with who broke the story nor does it require a bot or advanced automation. Posting the same comment on multiple websites is spamming even when it is done by individuals that cut and paste mechanically.

            This kind of social spamming isn’t the most obnoxious spam, but it does degrade a site like SS that has a comment section designed for threaded discussions by turning it into a chorus of hype.

          3. And of the 164 comments on this piece, there is only one from the IP Address associated with S. Rice. Which means that while S. Rice might have individually cut and pasted his or her comment from one site to the other, it wasn’t the concerted effort you’re implying.

          4. Clearly this is just a spontaneous, un-coordinated outpouring from dedicated TZ fans who are not interested shills or anything of the sort 😉

            One can either get angry, or just laugh at the patently obvious and coordinated shilling (and over-the-top corniness — icon!! unique!! heritage!! quintessential SF!! cultural treasure!!).

          5. One IP address per poster doesn’t mean you ain’t getting spammed. Leaving aside IP spoofing, if I use a tool to post my comment to multiple sites, then all those sites will see my one IP, but that just means I spammed a set of sites with the same comment from the same IP. And if the tool I use is by-hand-cut-and-paste, then I still spammed them.

            How many of these scores of TZ fan posts starting with “S. Rice” are from IPs that have never been seen on SS before? All of them is my guess. How many of them have responded when challenged/engaged by one of the long time SS posters? None. Not a one. How many have returned to SS since their solo voce post? How many of them are responding to claims of their spamming on this thread? None so far.

            As to the concertedness, well this spam herding seems less orchestrated than a concert and more of the ilk of a clownish dinner theater level production, but your aesthetic judgement may vary.

            Regardless, this is a form of drive-by spam. You’re just lucky it is from a trivial player with only hundreds of willing drive-by spammers and not someone with a real slashdotting-scale herd. TZ’s spam dribble is not too difficult to endure if you just follow the advice of Claytie Williams wrt to another form of social degradation: “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

  83. Ok, I get what you’re saying and certainly hope you get what I’m saying.

    But the flood of these “genuine new commenters” is so obviously clear: It’s not to offer genuine, sincere dialogue on a particular project but rather to simply “sway” opinion and influence the BOS and the Planning Commission to support the project. It’s certainly a new tool to be found here on SS.

  84. This should be a done deal. TZZ is quintessential SF and is exactly what should be a part of the pier neighborhood. I hope this happens as I look forward to coming and seeing TZZ and bringing my family and friends for something that has been missing for too long.

  85. Teatro Zinzanni has always been something that makes San Francisco fun and unique! I have been to the show with my family and also took my department. Both were great evenings. The iconic tent and atmosphere is an important part of the overall look and feel of the show. We need it back as soon as possible with all of its flare… The tent the over the top performance and the colorful characters. Please allow these plans to move forward.

  86. We need Teatro ZinZanni to come back to San Francisco. Its colorful and zany characters along with a unique atmosphere inside the Spiegel tent make for an unforgettable.

  87. The Tent is a land mark all its own and deserves to be reinstated… everything blocks something, depending on where you stand….. the truncated site on Vallejo street is a perfect location for the tent and it will only block the view of the pier, which is what is already blocking the view of the Bay…That location is perfect for a tent and the Teatro ZinZanni tent is the perfect historical tent. a tent that is dear to the hearts and personality of San Francisco and many many of its residents and guests.

  88. We have been without Teatro ZinZanni for too long! The Spiegeltent is a sculptural piece of art that would enhance the water front and the show is a cultural treasure denied to locals and visitors to San Francisco for too long. Bring Back Teatro!

  89. ZinZanni and it’s historic tent are iconic, beautiful, and very much a part of the waterfront experience.

  90. I miss TZ and I think it would be a mistake not to let them be in SF it brings thousands of visitors to the city whom eventually come back to explore more of beautiful San Francisco. I know I’m one of those people. Please let Teatro ZinZanni be

  91. Please bring Teatro Zinzanni home to the Embarcadaro and San Francisco. It is an Icon not to be missed or replaced.

  92. San Francisco is an eclectic and historical city that should not be looking into becoming locked into a “look”. The Waterfront is a place to attract and entice people to come experience all the San Francisco has to offer, not the same thing from block to block. When I walked into the Teatro tent, I was overwhelmed with the magic it presented inside. The way I described it to the writer we shared our table experience with, “it took my breath away like when the doors were opened to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory….pure imagination come to life.” I’ve been waiting a long time for its return and even deliberated traveling to Seattle, but San Francisco is Teatro’s home as is the Bay Area for me and that’s where I hope to be able to experience the magic again.

  93. I’ve been waiting for TZ to re-open forever now. I worked there and it was my favorite job. We need the circus back in SF!

  94. The one of a kind Teatro Zinzanni San Francisco spiegeltent called, Palais Nostalgique or in English, the Palace of Nostalgia, is itself an iconic work of art much like the other public art located in the Financial District and along the Embarcadero- The Bow and Arrow, the Vaillancourt Fountain in Justin Herman Plaza, the Maritime Plaza and on and on. The Palais was constructed in the early 1900’s in Belgium and has survived two World Wars. During the Second World War she was lovingly hidden underground by the family of her tentmaker where she escaped demolition by the Nazis.

    I call her “She” because anyone that has come to the show knows that the Tent is a Grand European Lady that envelopes and welcomes you into her own world. For years on Pier 29 she was hidden under a cover of white plastic and for those of us that have seen under that cover we know what a jewel box she is. Much like the City of San Francisco she represents beauty, mystique and perseverance. And just like San Francisco, Teatro Zinzanni is like no other place in the world. She is a place to laugh and love. Let’s bring her back.

    Kathy Rose
    Former Production Manager TZSF

  95. San Francisco needs this production. Prior to moving back to San Francisco, We attended performances at Teatro Zinzani at least twice a year. We really miss the quality performances and food provided at the is event! Please, please, please work with them to bring it back! It is SO San Francisco!

  96. I’ve been waiting a long time for Teatro Zinzani to return so I can attend a performance…I have never had the pleasure of seeing a show, but have been patiently waiting for the new venue to be completed. Please let them move forward.

  97. For the life of me I cannot understand why the City planners would have an issue with a tent. It is not some pop-up tent I purchase from the local hardware store. This is a professionally created tent. I am not sure if they ever saw the last tent they had but it fit into the community perfectly. This show is amazing and they will create job. The tent and the show is a wonderful addition to San Francisco and tourism. The Teatro Zinzani offers San Franciso a VERY UNIQUE experience. This is what has drawn me from outside the county to travel to SF. The tent is a serious part of the whole experience.

  98. Teatro ZinZanni should be allowed to have their tent! How silly to say now maybe no tent! Think about the loss to SF! To now after 10 very successful years you want change? Hope you do not make another mistake and force a great attraction to leave!

    I was fortunate to attend the second night Teatro opened in SF!I became one of their biggest fans and brought many, many friends and clients to see the most amazing show in an amazing venue, the Spiegel tent! Losing the tent will be a terrible mistake!

    1. How silly is it that they can’t follow a basic provision of the planning code? Follow the rules.

  99. Teatro Zinzanni has been a high point of culture in Seattle and in SF. Please let it go forward by approving the plans. Besides the cutting edge dinner theatre, it will bring awesome patrons and tourists to THE CITY.

    1. You are assuming SF needs scads of additional tourists? Whose only reason to visit is a circus tent? What value does it really provide?

  100. Futurist says:

    “We know they are fake, because they show up just once and then go away.”

    Oh my. Classic Futurist logic. You should get together with fluj and work on conspiracy theories involving bicyclists and artisan cheese makers.

    This looks to me more like a proper albeit misdirected grass roots effort by TZ fanboys and girls.

    They only way you’d get a greater outpouring response would be to dis Nikon. Or Canon, it doesn’t matter.

    1. Futurist (and others) have a point though. A bunch of those comments are copy-pasted.

      Emilie (SocketSite)
      The Spiegel tent is what makes it Teatro ZinZanni. There are songs and dances all over the city, but how many theatrical experiences happen in a century old circus tent? It is so integral to the entire experience. The moment you walk through the entrance, you are encapsulated in another world. Brick and mortar just can’t compare.

      Emilie Wu (SF Examiner)
      The Spiegel tent is what makes it Teatro ZinZanni. There are songs and dances all over the city, but how many theatrical experiences happen in a century old circus tent? It is so integral to the entire experience. The moment you walk through the entrance, you are encapsulated in another world. Brick and mortar just can’t compare.

      I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy, but it’s certainly a concerted effort.

      1. I’m not that offended if real people are cut and pasting individually written comments between a general news site like the Examiner and a niche site like SS. If these are being written or driven by a PR service that’s a different story. It is irritating that there isn’t much content to the comments themselves. It only takes one or two comments to show that some people like the tent. Further commenters should consider if they are really adding anything to the discussion.

        1. That’s part of it, I don’t think Planning has an issue with the tent… I’m sorry, The Spiegel, it’s WHERE the tent is. None of those comments seem to address the point of the post / article. Apparently Teatro ZinZanni is so transcendent, even scrumtrilescent, that they shouldn’t be bothered by things like the planning code.

  101. Teatro ZinZanni is magical, an experience beyond imagination and exceeding all expectations of a dinner and show. The tent is an integral part of the experience, from the outside it adds intrigue, mystery, and uniqueness to the Embarcadero, a hotel would also be a fantastic addition as I can only imagine the creatively themed hotel rooms that Teatro ZinZanni would setup. At their previous location, prior to my knowledge of Teatro Zinzanni, I was curious about the tent and admittedly thought it was odd to see a tent as a business, but like a good commercial I remembered their tent. One day, after Googling “dinner and show”, Teatro Zinzanni was the second retrieval (behind Medieval Times) and I decided to check out the show my family. From the moment we entered their tent, every aspect of Teatro ZinZanni was an incredible experience. Since our attendance many years ago, we continue to highly recommended Teatro ZinZanni to friends and family who visit the Bay Area or their other location in Seattle. Every time we walked by the tent, we’d comment “That is the best show!” and seeing their tent would always prompt wonderful memories of an amazing experience. Since they ceased running shows a while ago, I miss seeing their tent! Bring back the tent!! When I learned Teatro ZinZanni found a new location on the Embarcadero, I thought it was a great addition to the city and complimentary to the culture and vibe that makes San Francisco great.

  102. This City is gradually losing its artistic soul. Circus Arts speak to the diversity and progress that is San Francisco’s brand. Circus is unique in that it does not enjoy the financial support of traditional arts in the United States. Pickle Family Circus created a legacy that is slowly dying in the City. Please bring Teatro ZinZanni back!

  103. Zinzanni is one of few Amercian circus organizations that compare with international circus cabarets. It has high-level, skilled professional circus acts. As a professional circus performer that has been forced to work outside of the states due to the shortage of work (not shortage of interest), I find it incredible that anyone dares to kill one of the last legitimate circuses. San Francisco (and the US in general) needs this art form.

    Zinzanni proposes not only a show, but an experience. With the tent, and the meal, they transport you into a different world for a couple of hours. Why ruin the experience?

  104. That part of the City is kinda dumpy. Zinzanni will be a great improvement and bring life and beauty. We need it!

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