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Did Divisadero Just Become the New Valencia?

Scott Lucas | April 29, 2014 | Story Restaurants

The inevitable march of progress may be claiming another victim: The Popeyes Chicken on Divisadero and Hayes, whose long-term leaseholder is looking for a subtenant to take over the space—and may lead to the end of the chicken.

First the details: After 28 years in the space, and with 22 still remaining on its lease, the tenants have listed the property. Their offering, which touts the building's more than 2,000 square feet, corner spot, and proximity to NOPA, La Urbana, and Bi-Rite, says nothing about the Popeyes currently there.

But the Chicken's fate is far from sealed. No new tenant has yet emerged publicly, and any that does presumably would have the option to keep the fast food joint in place. However, the neighborhood has seen several high profile closures lately: Tortilla Heights closed after nine years and King of Falafel—which had been in place since 1975—also went under. Plans are still in the works for the restaurants that will operate in those spaces, but if you think any of those place will transform into a Kenny Rodgers Roasters, we've got some Bay Lights to sell you.

The irony, of course, is that it's consumer and business in search of a microhood with a little more of that authentic funk than Valencia has that have lead to the economic boom along the corridor that, in turn, are leading to long-time restaurants going under.

Even more ironic? The gentrifying replacements—The Mill—for instance are pushing out San Francisco's anathematized class of eatery: fast food chains.

The irony is thicker than gravy. But what do we know? We just like fried chicken.

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