Message From Our Corporate Coffee Overlords: We Own the Sidewalk at 225 Bush Street, More or Less

¬†As was foretold, the newly-approved bench and table and chairs at 225 Bush are kind of a mess. What’s the point in having a super wide sidewalk in the 94104 Financh if there’s going to be a bottleneck betwixt a giant 17 foot tall ad (a former newspaper kiosk long since closed down) and all this?

Check it:

I cry foul.

Actually, I didn’t cry foul afore the deadline to do so passed by in June 2013. As I’m not a NIMBY. And now that we can see the bench but also the table and the chairs, we can see that all this stuff takes up too much space and leaves like three feet of space for the peds to squeeze by.

Even Coffee Culture lovers / customers were appalled by these cheesy plastic chairs when they first appeared.

IDK, maybe this sitch has fixed itself the past few weeks, but this system of having a trial and putting up a sign for people to complain to SFGov doesn’t work if corporations do a bait and switch deal with the layout.

Again, I cry foul.

Oh, and speaking of corporations:

Here’s coffee dude’s website, srsly.

Dude, do you think you leased the sidewalk too?

Approve not I do.

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2 Responses to “Message From Our Corporate Coffee Overlords: We Own the Sidewalk at 225 Bush Street, More or Less”

  1. TinyTim says:

    Actually, this is occurring all over the City. Public space, i.e., sidewalks being turned over to sign boards and seating encroaching on the sidewalks, creating difficulty in walking.

    Check out the busy corner at Cafe de la Presse (Grant/Bush) or along Polk St. between about California and Clay. Or the ice cream vendor’s cart at the Grant/Post corner. Or along Sutter St., where I walked up one night with a friend recently. We are both thin and small and yet I could not walk closely aside her to speak to her; rather I had to walk partially behind her so we could pass oncoming pedestrians and avoid the sidewalk advertising and tables’ encroachment. Disabled and frail people who require an aide walking beside them cannot easily navigate many commercial sidewalks. Small businesses with Ed Lee et al’s endorsement feel entitled to such allowances. If your business is off a corner
    and not that visible, your rent should reflect that and you must find alternative ways to advertise–not use public space for your advertising–especially when it encroaches on safe passage by the public. In addition the 6-foot rule of space (2 concrete squares) may be enough for a residential sidewalk, but not enough in a commercial district. I encourage you all to call your Supes and protest. It has gotten worse as eateries/cafes have proliferated and most of these business feel entitled.
    Hopefully, if someone should trip on these encroaching objects (signs, chair legs) and hurt themself, there will be a publicized lawsuit/settlement that will put these businesses and planners on notice.

  2. Alai says:


    Compared to European cities, and older cities in general, we have a much larger portion of the city’s area dedicated to rights of way. So it’s not like we have a shortage of space. It’s just that we dedicate as much as possible to cars. This problem is one that can be solved by parklets in the short run, and sidewalk extensions in the long run.

    Some people seem to have the idea that a cafe putting out chairs and tables is a terrible privatization of public space — but the cafe owner using equivalent public space to store a car all day is valuable public use!? Nonsense.

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