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Legendary San Francisco burger restaurant could transform into new office, eatery

Renderings for a new building at 500 Brannan St. in San Francisco were released Thursday. | Source: Courtesy Blitz Architecture and Design

New renderings emerged Thursday of a planned office and retail building on the site of a San Francisco burger restaurant declared “best hamburger in the city” in 2015.

The project site would be 500 Brannan St., where the legendary Marlowe San Francisco sits.

Blitz Architecture and Design is tackling the project with Jett Landscape Architecture, designing the building’s greenery and landscape. Christopher Burnett is the project owner and landlord.

A pedestrian passes the entrance to Marlowe SF, a legendary San Francisco burger restaurant. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The images show plans for a five-story building with a roof deck, balconies and a full-service restaurant. The building would be 65 feet tall and a total of 36,452 square feet.

Marlowe, a legendary San Francisco restaurant, has occupied the site since 2014 and is run by owner James Nicholas and executive chef Jennifer Puccio. Food journalists have asserted that Marlowe serves one of the best burgers in San Francisco.

READ MORE: New Burger Joint To Open in San Francisco’s Fillmore Next Spring

"We have a very nice landlord. We wish him well on the new project. I think the building looks beautiful,” Nicholas said. “We're discussing the option of staying, so I think he'd like to have us stay. We'll also evaluate other options because Marlowe is a really important restaurant in San Francisco."

Nicholas said Marlowe has six years left on its lease and said it could pop-up somewhere else during construction if it were to return to 500 Brannan St.

"I'm rooting for San Francisco," Nicholas said. "But is building more office buildings a good idea?”

Nicholas said Marlowe's business and other businesses in the area were negatively affected after Pinterest left 505 Brannan in March. However, Nicholas added that it might be good for business to be based below a thriving office space in the future.

Renderings for a new building at 500 Brannan St. were filed Thursday. | Source: Courtesy Blitz Architecture and Design

The upcoming development's project manager, Alex Holton of Canopy Project Management, said questions on what restaurant may occupy the space are years down the road.

“The building does have a restaurant space, and there's ongoing conversations about them [Marlowe] staying in that space potentially, but we're talking about years until entitlement and construction,” Holton said.

“My client has requested that all information about the restaurant be kept confidential at this time,” said Melissa Hanley of Blitz Architecture and Design.

The plans estimate a construction time of 14 months but are yet to be approved by the city.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at
Garrett Leahy can be reached at