Coalition to Save
Ocean Beach / Friends of Sutro Heights Park
A Coalition of Groups devoted
to improving the Parklands & City
SAVE THE CLIFF HOUSE !
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
The Cliff House will permanently close on December
31, 2020 unless immediate action is taken. The concessionaire and
the National Park Service have not been able to agree on a new
concession contract. Dan and Mary Hountalas have been the operators
of the Cliff House since 1973.
Known by all San Franciscans and by millions of
visitors, The Cliff House is a valued institution and part of the
fabric of the City. According to Hountalas and as confirmed by the
San Francisco Chronicle, NPS failed to timely post, and then failed
to timely respond, to the bureaucratic process of renewing the
concession. NPS granted Hountalas a series of short-term extensions.
Now NPS requires the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process begin
from the start -- which will take years -- and has stated that it is
no longer looking to renew The Cliff House as a restaurant, despite
its 157-year legacy.
Ignoring the pandemic, NPS has refused to
negotiate an extension with Hountalas, offering only another
short-term “take it or leave it” lease at full cost, regardless of
the inability to operate a restaurant during this time. Hountalas,
unable to operate The Cliff House for these many months, must
continue to pay all ongoing expenses regardless of the closure.
Alternatively, Hountalas must remove the entirety of their many
decades of historic property and all restaurant furnishings and
equipment, by December 31. The Cliff House would become a shuttered
empty building for years.
NPS, with its ever-revolving leadership in
Washington, D.C., is acting like an unconcerned and heartless
landlord, without heed for the people who work at The Cliff House
and community neighbors. This shows failure to abide by its own RFQ
requirements. We urge immediate intervention with the NPS and the
Secretary of Interior. There must be a way to resolve this
immediately and fairly, without “take it or leave it” tactics. The
pandemic will pass, and NPS need not produce years of blight and the
eviction of a good and important neighbor in our community.
Senator Dianne Feinstein:
Senator Kamala Harris:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
San Francisco Board of Supervisors:
State Senator Scott Wiener:
State Assemblyman Phil Ting:
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt:
GGNRA/National Park Service Superintendent Laura Joss:
And here is a link to a petition
that you can sign and pass on: