Union Street Cooks Up a Restaurant Revival

Union Street, the eight-block retail stretch in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow-Marina neighborhood, is undergoing a restaurant boom with six eateries slated to open in the next six months.

Behind the surge: moves by local merchants to revive the area by removing a zoning law restricting new restaurants. At the same time, landlords in the historically high-price neighborhood began lowering commercial rents after a number of longstanding business had to close.

“Like every other neighborhood in San Francisco, all of us have been feeling it,” says Lesley Leonhardt, executive director of the Union Street Association, which represents about 100 merchants, of the economic downturn. So “[we] felt like it was the right thing to do” to remove the restaurant moratorium and seek lower rents, she says.

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