Outdoor dining is going away (for the most part) in Glen Park, after the City ended easy COVID-era rules that allowed restaurants to build outdoor dining areas in parking places in front of their doors.
Glen Park gained four outdoor eating spaces during the height of the COVID emergency, at Tekka House, Higher Grounds, La Corneta and the Glen Park Station under the Shared Spaces program.
Now Higher Grounds, Tekka House and the Glen Park Station have dismantled theirs after the city transitioned the program to a new, and according to many restaurant owners overly bureaucratic and unworkable, system.
“First the City said they were OK, then they said they weren’t,” said Shawn Paton, manager of the Glen Park Station bar at 2816 Diamond Street. “Then they said we could keep them but it had to have a smaller footprint – but it was only enough for a few people.” Between that and a high permit cost, the Station decided it just wasn’t worth it.
The bar took down its much-used outdoor dining area on September 25, 2023.
The temporary dining spaces were San Francisco’s response to COVID, when restaurants were hurting because no one wanted to eat inside. They were a lifeline for many restaurants, along with an increase in takeout, during the worst of COVID. Many restaurant owners were pleased when the City said it would create new rules allowing such outdoor dining structures to be permanent.
However, when the new rules were finally released they proved to be unpalatable for most restaurants. You can read the manual here to decide for yourself.
Higher Grounds and the Glen Park Cafe (which didn’t have an outdoor space) still sometimes have customers sit outside at small tables, but the bespoke outdoor spaces are no more.