There’s some community outrage over how the building owner whose rent increase did in Capp Street bar The Uptown is now himself opening a bar there, in what looks like an owner move-in eviction of a nightclub.

It’s a fairly common thing in the San Francisco bar scene “cycle of life” for a well-known, decades-old bar to close down largely because of a hefty rent increase, but several months later, a new bar opens in its place with new ownership. And that’s what appeared to be happening after the 39-year-old Capp Street bar The Uptown announced its impending closure last November, but was slated to soon reopen as a bar called Kiitos.


But that may not be happening, as the SF Planning Department is forcing Kiitos to hit the brakes on its opening. Mission Local reports that may be related to the bar’s prospective new owner Kaushik Dattani, who happens to be the building’s owner who handed the Uptown their crippling rent increase.

And Mission Local describes Dattani as a “serial evictor.” According to the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Dattani has presided over 24 Ellis Act evictions since 2007, in addition to a few other non-Ellis evictions.

“It’s one thing to close the bar after so many years; it’s always gonna be a little traumatic,” former Uptown co-owner Ken Cohen told Mission Local. “But it’s even harder to take the idea that we’d be replaced by a landlord like this.”

While the Uptown was on a lease from 2019, its owners said in a letter to the SF Planning Commission that their rent was “at least 80% above fair market.”

According to Mission Local, the SF Planning Department has “delayed the bar’s opening indefinitely,” with staff asking for more “thorough outreach to stakeholders and neighborhood groups and responding to community input.”

It’s unclear whether a June 13 Planning Commission hearing to review the new bar’s authorization is still scheduled. That authorization would be necessary since The Uptown was a designated SF Legacy Business.

Related: The Halfway Club Opens Today in Crocker-Amazon’s Former Broken Record Space [SFNews]

Image: Uptown via Facebook