A petition being passed around by residents of Lapidge Street and neighboring Valencia businesses is going after Grub, the fledgling restaurant on Valencia on 18th known for its delicious mac n' cheese and hideous interior. The petition to the Department of Public Health alleges a whole bunch of things, including the restaurant producing “earth quake like [sic] vibrations” that are destroying homes, rent control-protected residents “being driven out of their homes,” and a whole bunch of other nasty stuff that makes the situation sound fairly miserable. The petition begins:
Grub Restaurant opened for business at 758 Valencia Street in October 2010. The restaurant is open for dinner 7 days a week until 1 AM plus brunch weekends. From day one of its presence, we neighbors have endured a constant assault on the senses. We immediately alerted the Department of Public Health to this situation. Since October, the neighbors have been in constant contact with DPH. Although we have taken great time and expense to document our concerns, the Department has failed to reduce the excessive noise levels.
Grub has met the neighbors’ complaints with intimidation and harassment. One or more of the owners has shouted obscenities at neighbors on more than one occasion. They have also explicitly threatened neighbors with retaliation. Grub’s conduct is documented in multiple police reports, including Case # 110292383. With no assistance from DPH, we secured proof that Grub installed its machinery without permits, as shown by the Department of Building Inspection’s findings. DBI has further determined that this unpermitted work does not meet code.
While the appeal immediately comes across as typical NIMBY bullshit, it's authored by one of the neighborhood champions of last summer's NIMBY-plagued Mission Bicycle Festival, giving the neighbor some credibility. Another neighbor, who had nothing to do with the writing of the petition, backs up one of the claims, noting “I have to say, the Grub owners appear to be douchbags. Not that I would ever judge anyone by how they look, but they pace in front of the restaurant with their dress shirts untucked (Marina style) screaming on their bluetooths.”
The petition goes on to discuss, in great detail, the failings of the restaurant and the city: Housing Code violations, Noise Ordinance violations, negative reports from the Housing Inspector, acoustical and vibration experts being brought in, unpermitted construction, and failures by the Department of Public Health to hold their promises. Perhaps the best line of the whole thing:
Now, neighbors whose homes are protected by rent control are being driven out of their homes. Grub’s machinery is literally eroding our homes and health. We are suffering from chronic sleep loss, weight loss, and living under extreme stress. Our homes are battle zones complete with the constant drone of machinery.
Presumably, this doesn't bode well Monk's Kettle's “fancier” beer bar and other late-night offerings set to open on this block later this year. The neighbors are clearly organized, know how to get city to go after businesses, and don't seem to appreciate the noise that comes from late-night restaurants in their backyards. Should make for some interesting summer drama.
Feel free to read the entire petition, if you're into that sorta thing.