Lefty O'Doul's, a prized San Francisco watering hole located in Union Square, is officially moving, according to its managers. But that could mean there soon will be two Lefty O'Doul's in close proximity.
The popular hangout will close up at its current location Feb. 3. The restaurant's managers announced Monday they plan to reopen under the same name at a new location, which has yet to be determined. The move comes after a divisive landlord-tenant battle between the building owner, the Handlery family, and Nick Bovis, the restaurant's manager.
Bovis and his family say they own and manage the restaurant, having acquired the business in 1998 as well as a federal copyright for the Lefty O'Doul's name.
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown is representing Bovis' family.
"Lefty O'Doul's belongs to Nick and his family, and they can move it anywhere they want," Brown said. "I want to assist them in any way. I think it's an institution for the city."
The Handlery family, however, has claimed ownership not only of the building and the restaurant, but also all the sports and San Francisco memorabilia inside.
"There's no confusion for us," said Adam Alberti, a representative for the Handlery family. "The current location will remain Lefty O'Doul's after refreshment."
The popular eatery, which is named after San Francisco pitcher and manager Francis "Lefty" O'Doul, is a beloved hangout for sports fans and regular customers.
"The new place will be much nicer, but it is sad to leave this place," said Pat O'Doul, a member of the restaurant family. "It's the end of an era really."