SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – A landmark restaurant atop San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill stands at the center of a new controversy.
Julius’ Castle has won city approval to reopen its restaurant, but some neighbors are not so enthused.
On Friday, KPIX 5 talked to owner Paul Scott about the battle that’s been dragging on for years.
“Historically, it was built in the early 1920s. tt was one of the first buildings in the neighborhood before there were any homes at all,” explained Scott
Julius’ Castle – locals don’t bother with the apostrophe – was a San Francisco restaurant for more than 80 years until its doors closed in 2007.
Scott has been trying to get the doors re-opened since he bought the Castle in 2012.
“I remember being asked near the beginning when I planned to open and I said by America’s Cup,” said Scott. “I don’t even remember when that was now, 2013?”
He has refurbished the exterior and the foundation and he’s ready to tackle the interior, but now he faces a new obstacle.
“We’ve cleared all the hurdles and the city is with us,” said Scott. “The neighborhood is with us. It’s just a few folks. As with any project, some are going to voice opposition.”
That group of neighbors previously challenged the re-opening of the restaurant because of concerns about traffic on this uniquely narrow end of Montgomery Street.
“You have to demonstrate that it makes sense to put a restaurant in a neighborhood at the end of a street that no one can even turn around in,” countered Montgomery Street resident Robert Bigler.
But now, they have filed suit against the city demanding a new environmental impact review.
The city attorney’s office tells KPIX 5 that lawsuit is “baseless,” but Scott says opponents are missing a larger point.
“Most people in the city don’t have a view like this,” said Scott. “The people who are opposing it have this view every day of the week. And I think may not appreciate that it’s important for other people to be able to share the same thing.”
So the Telegraph Hill battle continues for Julius’, where opening night is still yet to be determined.
“I don’t like to guess any more, but I’d like to see it done by the end of the year. Just going to try to stay zen about the whole thing,” said Scott.