Lefty O'Doul's, a landmark San Francisco watering hole located in Union Square since the 1950s, is slated to close its doors on Feb. 3 because of a landlord-tenant dispute, leaving many devoted customers to wonder what the future holds for the iconic eatery.
Those close to the situation are expected to address the rent squabble during a press conference at 2 p.m. next Monday. An original announcement was supposed to occur Friday.
A source told NBC Bay Area that Nick Bovis and his family own and manage Lefty's. They also rent the space from a landlord. The source added that the family purchased the business in 1998 and has a federal copyright for the establishment's name. The Handlery family, however, describe themselves as the owners and said "Lefty O'Doul's isn't moving anywhere," according to a statement.
The restaurant's current managers told NBC Bay Area that they will try to replicate the inside of Lefty's, which failed to secure a new long-term lease at 333 Geary St., at a new location.
The Handlery family opposes that proposal. They wrote in a statement that "the lounge and restaurant will remain at 333 Geary St. with all its memorabilia, baseball bat chairs, and new and improved food and management."
Named after former San Francisco pitcher and manager Francis "Lefty" O'Doul, it's a favorite spot for fans and regulars.
"This is a San Francisco treasure," Stefano Cassolato said. "Anytime you could possibly lose a San Francisco treasure you feel a great loss."
Customer Tom Stanley added that Lefty's has everything one could ever wish for when it comes to a neighborhood bar and restaurant.
"They got a lot of beers on tap," he said. "They got a lot of meat and potatoes, and (mararoni) and cheese. What else do you need?"