By Constantine Mittendorf
As of today, Sinbad’s does not have any immediate plans to close its 40 year old saloon doors, despite losing its eviction case two months ago. The Court stayed eviction and the execution of judgment, but that order expires today – September 30th.
For background, the City of San Francisco owns the pier where Sinbad’s restaurant has been operating since the mid-1970’s. The City has plans to build a new ferry terminal there and Sinbad’s has been resisting wherever it can. Back in 2012, Sinbad’s agreed to vacate the property after two years, but then it reneged. The City then filed an eviction lawsuit in April 2015, and it won a jury verdict against Sinbad’s on July 31, 2015. Now two months have passed and Sinbad’s is still open.
In August, Sinbad’s filed a Motion Notwithstanding the Verdict, a Motion for a New Trial, and a Motion to Stay the Execution of Judgment, which asked the court to throw out the jury verdict and/or to delay the actual eviction by the Sheriff’s Office. This appears to have been an attempt by Sinbad’s to either throw out the jury verdict (which rarely happens) or help extend its deadline to file an appeal pursuant to California Rule Court 8.104 and California Rule of Court 8.108. Typically, parties have 60 days to file appeals on a civil jury verdict. An appeal could also help delay the eviction of Sinbad’s – especially if Sinbad’s wins on appeal.
The Court declined to reverse the jury verdict, but did agree to stay the eviction order until today – 61 days after the jury verdict judgment was entered. As of the time of publishing this post, Sinbad’s has not yet filed an appeal. However, the City filed a motion today to recover $132,000 in attorney’s fees. According to the motion, Sinbad’s lease with the City “grants attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in an unlawful detainer suit,” which in this case is the City.
Incidentally, I ducked into Sinbad’s, and fittingly, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” was playing on the radio. In fact, the patio umbrellas were out, customers were drinking martinis, and there were no moving trucks in sight. In other words, it looks like Sinbad’s is planning on staying open until all of its legal options are exhausted.