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As previously reported, Union Square’s historic Gold Dust lounge is reportedly facing eviction, inspiring a flurry of social media campaigns and encouragement to “write to” (among others) “City Hall” to argue against their closure. However, as protesters reach out to the supposed new tenant, questions are being raised about what, exactly, is behind the beloved bar’s eviction.

Nick Bovis, the son of one of the lounge’s owners, said Tuesday that “They’re getting an eviction notice now to get out by March 10.”

Bovis said the landlord already signed a lease with a new tenant, and the Chron reports, that “a letter of intent has been signed” by the company, reportedly clothing retailer The Limited.

In one of the many gestures of protest against the Gold Dust’s closing (there’s a a Save The Gold Dust site, Facebook page, and Twitter account), SFist suggested that one should “feel free to contact (The Limited) and let them know how you feel about this.”

(For those of you who aren’t 80-90s mall rats — I was! More 80s than 90s, though — The Limited is part of the eponymous clothing store that’s part of Columbus, Ohio based Limited Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Bath and Body Works, C.O. Bigelow, White Barn Candle Co., La Senza and Henri Bendel, among others. In the 90s there was a The Limited store in what’s now the Crate and Barrel at Stockton and O’Farrell, but now it looks like the closest one is in Pleasanton.)

However, as the Chron reports today, “Jon Handlery, whose family owns the building and others in the area, including the Handlery Hotel, would not confirm the new tenant’s identity.”

According to two Gold Dust Lounge supporters, The Limited representatives told them that the company has “no current plans to open a store at Union Square in San Francisco.”

Another poster to the Gold Dust Facebook page says that a ” phone call to Limited has produced some interesting information. They were approached with an offer for a new space yet to be built and they considered the offer but did not make a commitment.”

“It appears the Handlery is giving us misinformation to steer the blame away from them. They are secretly shopping vendors to build a mammoth store where the Historic Gold Dust currently exist,” Facebook user Michael Escamilla says.

Bay City News also reports that “a spokeswoman for The Limited said today the retailer has no plans to open a store in San Francisco.”

A message left by the Appeal for Handlery was not responded to by publication time.

According to the Chron, an attorney for the Bovis family has tried to arrange a meeting with Handlery, but “they have refused to sit down and discuss the matter.”

Perhaps they won’t speak with the Bovis family, but according to the Handlery Hotel Union Square site, “The Handlery family would love to hear from you.”

Well, that’s great news, as they list the phone number and email address for Jon Handlery, who told the Chron that “he had warned the Bovis family more recently that retailers were expressing serious interest in the combined space and that the end could be nigh.”

Supporters should “Write to the newspaper, write to the TV station, write to City Hall,” Tasios Bovis told the Chron earlier this week.

Some supporters of the Gold Dust Lounge would add to this list Handlerly, suggesting that you “let them know how you feel.” If he tells you who’s moving in or who signed that letter of intent, please do let us know!

Photo: Yelp user Kevin Y

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • netzard

    Talked this story over with a friend who worked for years brokering commercial real estate and her first question was “how can a business with a valid lease be evicted without cause?” So does the Gold Dust Lounge actually have a legally binding lease? If so, the cannot be evicted without just cause unless they agreed to a buyout, or they had pre-existing month-to-month agreement with the landlord.

    I like the Gold Dust alot, but it seems like we are not getting the full story.

  • netzard

    Talked this story over with a friend who worked for years brokering commercial real estate and her first question was “how can a business with a valid lease be evicted without cause?” So does the Gold Dust Lounge actually have a legally binding lease? If so, the cannot be evicted without just cause unless they agreed to a buyout, or they had pre-existing month-to-month agreement with the landlord.

    I like the Gold Dust alot, but it seems like we are not getting the full story.

  • Eve Batey

    According to the Chron piece linked to in the story, there’s a clause in the Gold Dust’s lease allowing for termination with 90 days notice.

    So while I agree that the full story has yet to be told, that’s an answer to your friend’s eviction question.

  • Eve Batey

    According to the Chron piece linked to in the story, there’s a clause in the Gold Dust’s lease allowing for termination with 90 days notice.

    So while I agree that the full story has yet to be told, that’s an answer to your friend’s eviction question.

  • gellan

    Maybe The Limited was front for another business? UNIQLO? Just a guess, but I know there were rumors of them opening a Union Square store in the near future.

  • gellan

    Maybe The Limited was front for another business? UNIQLO? Just a guess, but I know there were rumors of them opening a Union Square store in the near future.

  • Dartin Bout

    I just wrote to jon@handlery.com expressing my extreme displeasure at their actions in regads to this fine establishment. I also wrote KNBR, telling them that as long as the carry ads for the hotel, I would boycott any other advertised product on their station.

    KNBR’s GM
    lee.hammer@cumulus.com

  • Dartin Bout

    I just wrote to jon@handlery.com expressing my extreme displeasure at their actions in regads to this fine establishment. I also wrote KNBR, telling them that as long as the carry ads for the hotel, I would boycott any other advertised product on their station.

    KNBR’s GM
    lee.hammer@cumulus.com