Eviction memos sent out ahead of America's Cup

January 17, 2011 6:38:58 PM PST
The America's Cup yacht race is big news and big business for San Francisco, but it is also a major blow for a number of merchants facing eviction to make room for the race.

One of them, Teatro Zinzanni, does not plan to go without a fight. The cabaret supper club has entertained nearly 1 million people in ten years. It is a $7 million non-profit business on the Embarcadero, but on Friday, the city gave it an eviction deadline.

"Teatro Zinzanni is very concerned and worried because we were told on Friday that we would no longer be able to have this beautiful location on Pier 29 here," said spokesperson Karen Ames.

The people who run the popular vaudeville cabaret hoped it could stay on Pier 29 and be a hospitality venue for America's Cup.

"Teatro Zinzanni has huge experience being a partner with big events like the Goodwill Games, the Barcelona Olympics and of course, we have this incredible venue here," Ames said.

Instead, Teatro Zinzanni says it has been given until next January to move their giant tent to another location.

"This tent is over 100 years old. It has about 3,000 parts to it and none of it is nailed together. It's all held together by pressure," explained Executive Director Annie Jamison.

A source with knowledge of the Friday meeting at the port offices says officials offered no help to relocate. Supervisors told ABC7 News the city has an obligation to the tenants.

"I was told that they were going to help the tenants find new places. I assumed that they were on board with making that happen," said Supervisor John Avalos.

"I think that ups the challenge for the city and the port to try to relocate them, obviously, in a very strategic place so it works for those tenants," said Supervisor Ross Murkarimi.

Another big business on the pier which will also have to go is Bauers Limousine and Transportation. Altogether, the port is considering moving more than 80 businesses from the northern piers to make way for the America's Cup in 2.5 years.

ABC7 called Port Executive Director Monique Moyer and asked her about the Friday meeting. She replied tersely, "It's totally fabricated. I'm not saying anything. The port's business with tenants is strictly private."

ABC7 would later get a call from the port's public information officer saying Moyer did not know her office had held that Friday meeting with Teatro. As for Moyer's comment that the port's business is private, even though it is a public agency, the PIO said she meant that negotiations were supposed to be private.