New legislation is trying to protect old businesses from S.F. real estate boom

San Francisco's real estate boom has been a bust for some small businesses. Now, there's legislation designed to protect those that have been around for decades.

It's the last day for Cuco's. The Mexican-Salvadoran restaurant in San Francisco's Lower Haight has been evicted after 23 years, one of 4,000 local businesses expected to close this year.

"Turnover is accelerating in the last two decades and as a result there's a loss of that neighborhood fabric that people are accustomed to with where they live," said Mike Buhlersan of San Francisco Heritage.

His nonprofit helped Supervisor David Campos craft legislation to register so-called legacy businesses that have been around at least 30 years.

The measure calls for a rebate on the transfer tax if the new owner extends the lease for a legacy business, or gives a rebate to the business to buy the building.

It comes too late for this for some, like The Empress of China restaurant, which opened in 1966. It has served luminaries like Sidney Poitier, Karl Malden and ABC7 News reporter David Louie. The building has been sold and the restaurant will close at the end of the year.

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