A Fine Mess for Mission Bar Medjool

City planning dispute could cost bar owner $250 a day

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Medjool's rooftop deck is an understandably popular destination for cocktails at sunset.

    Starting today, the owner of the bar Medjool in San Francisco's Mission district could face $250 a day in fines for keeping the popular rooftop deck open.

    The problem started when owner Gus Murad was the beneficiary of a "typo" that allowed 20 extra feet in height for the proposed development of another nearby building.

    A correction by the Board of Supervisors was then vetoed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, in what critics complain was a political favor to the well-connected Murad.

    But in the process, a zoning ordinance was discovered that bans bars or restaurants above the second floor in area buildings -- making Medjool's rooftop off limits.

    However, Medjool's management states the company has the necessary permissions in writing from the Planning and Building Department going back five years.

    Murad can appeal the fine, but will have to pay up if the appeal fails. Photo by Andres Herrera.

    Jackson West prefers the Zeitgeist beer garden, or the Foreign Cinema patio when he can afford it.