The building that housed Yoshi’s SF and the Fillmore Heritage Center has been a vacant reminder of a boondoggle for going on five years, but someone’s finally in negotiations to take on the lease and make it some sort of food hall and event space.

It was with great fanfare of Fillmore revitalization that the jazz nightclub and sister to the popular Oakland club Yoshi’s opened on Fillmore Street in 2007. And it was on that stage, some might recall, where Michelle Shocked came out as homophobic and anti-gay-marriage in 2013.

But the venue was a financial disaster, would reopen as a very short-lived club called The Addition, and then became the Fillmore Heritage Center. That too did not last long, as a 2019 shooting outside the center only added to its myriad problems.  

Some progress finally appeared to be happening last summer when the city put out a request for proposals (RFP) for a new tenant, which drew some big name applicants that teased the involvement of perhaps the B.B. King Club, highbrow jazz nightclub chain The Blue Note, and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s soul food chain Red Rooster. And Mayor Breed’s office announced last October they were beginning leasing negotiations with a seeming winner, though alas, one that did not involve any of the above-dropped big names.

But today the Examiner reports that group consisting of San Francisco Housing and Development Corporation, Fleming Development, and Westside Community Health have signed a letter of intent to take on the lease at the 1330 Fillmore location. It’s a five-year lease, with numerous possible three-year extensions.

“We’re really just trying to redevelop Fillmore back into the Harlem of the West,” SF Housing and Development Corporation program director Pia Harris told the Examiner. “There used to be hundreds of Black businesses, but now it’s not even an option because rent is so high.”

The Examiner notes there are “30 small culinary entrepreneurs” under consideration to operate out of the space, though the use of the descriptor “small” seems to indicate B.B. King and Marcus Samuelsson’s people would not be involved. But Harris also teased to the Examiner the possible involvement of “local entertainment and event producers.”

And, we can still have hope that the former 1300 on Fillmore restaurant space, on the other side of the building, will still become home to a high-profile restaurant later one.

This is not a done deal, it’s just that a letter of intent has been signed. The Examiner reports the parties are still in negotiations to lease the city-owned building. Any deal would also have to be approved by the SF Board of Supervisors, though if all goes well, the venue could be open by the fall 2024.

Related: New Jazz Club and Harlem-Based Red Rooster Restaurant Among Proposed Tenants at Beleaguered Fillmore Heritage Center [SFNews]

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