E-Campaign to 'Save' Medjool's Rooftop Bar Kicks Off — But Is it Grassroots or Astroturf?

Invitations to join a Facebook page titled “SAVE MEDJOOL” are flooding San Franciscans' e-mail inboxes. The missive pleads for locals' help in persuading the big, bad Planning Department from pulling the permits for the Mission establishment's rooftop bar, which would ostensibly put the place under and force 60 hard-working souls into the breadlines.

And yet, while Medjool's position may truly be perilous, this might not be an organic swelling of city pride. Bar owner Gus Murad is a major donor to Gavin Newsom and other politicians and his rooftop bar is a favorite political watering hole and fund-raising site for candidates across the local spectrum. And the Facebook page's creator, Justin Roja, is an employee of Ground Floor Public Affairs, the strategy firm hatched by former Newsom right-hand man Alex Tourk. Ground Floor's existence, by the way, is not mentioned on the Facebook page. Yet While the “address” of “Save Medjool” is 2522 Mission — that's Medjool — the phone number listed is Ground Floor's.

Messages left for Roja have not yet been returned.

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