Excelsior District Bar Owner Fights for His Business' Life Today In Planning Commission

In San Francisco there's a bar to cater to just about everybody's interest — but it seems no one's interested in hearing the barkeep bellow “last call” at 10:30 p.m.

Jason King, owner of the Broken Record on Geneva, will find out today in a Planning Commission hearing if that shall be his fate or if he'll get to stay open until the wee hours other bars are entitled to. A mandated 11 p.m. closing time — which is currently the zoning law of the land — would mean “we would be forced to sell and lose a whole bunch of money,” admits the bar owner.

King's kingdom of trouble began during noise disputes with a neighbor — whom SF Weekly was unable to reach for this story. The bar owner claims the neighbor spurned his offer to install soundproof windows on her home, and instead dug up a decades-old zoning ordinance that mandated businesses on his block close their doors at 11. King's liquor license allows him to stay open till midnight on school nights and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday — but the zoning ordinance holds precedent. This ordinance's existence, incidentally, came as news to both the police and planning commission.

The barkeep says he holds no ill will toward his neighbor: “I don't fault her. If I'm operating against my zoning, it needs to be remedied.” That's what he hopes to accomplish today with an application for a conditional use permit that would allow him to operate during the hours his liquor license states.

King is cautiously optimistic; he notes that neighborhood groups have expressed support and figures it can't hurt that Supervisor John Avalos held community meet-'n'-greets at the Broken Record during his campaign.

If King's plans are dashed tomorrow, his lone recourse is to appeal to the Board of Supervisors. And if the Supes let him down, then, he says, the Broken Record will be broken.

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