SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Julius Castle restaurant has been a distinctive part of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill for nearly a century but — for the past dozen years — the restaurant has sat empty, collecting dust and falling into disrepair until businessman Paul Scott stepped in.
When Scott bought the building in 2012, he thought the restaurant would be up and running the following year. Little did he imagine, it would become a long, drawn-out, seven year legal battle.
“I understood when I bought the building that I would need to go through some hoops to get the building back open again. I didn’t anticipate it would be the ordeal that it’s been,” Scott admits.
Scott spent years working with the city to get the building up to code and years more battling a lawsuit filed by neighbors concerned about noise, traffic and parking.
“I’m kind of democratic when it comes to the views so I think it’s something you have to tolerate in exchange for living in one of the most fabulous parts of San Francisco,” Castle neighbor Nita Vigil said.
A judge recently tossed out the lawsuit, paving the way for Scott to start working with an interior designer and look for a restaurateur to partner with.
Scott says he’s been encouraged by all the people who have fond memories of the beloved restaurant.
“You talk to enough people who tell you about their first date or their first prom or some other special event and you know you’re on the right track. So it’s going to take awhile but there’s been a ton of support along the way,” Scott said.
And Scott is still hoping to win over opponents who have no appetite for a busy restaurant at the end of the block and he’s aiming to open the restaurant by the end of the year.