City Council Meeting Review: City Starts Eminent Domain Proceedings on David’s Restaurant and Starts to Get Tough on Parking in Stadium Neighborhoods

By Robert Haugh

David’s Restaurant and Banquet Facility

The Council decided on a 5-1 vote (Councilwoman Karen Hardy voted against) to begin eminent domain proceedings against the banquet facility. The City needs to relocate Stars and Stripes for The Related Company’s CityPlace development.

Restaurant owner David Ebrahimi showed up to protest the decision. He said he’s a longtime Santa Clara business that should be allowed to stay. But City staff said that the banquet facility doesn’t fit in the master plan.

Mayor Lisa Gillmor reminded everyone that the City owns the land and Ebrahimi has been leasing. The eminent domain vote happened because Ebrahimi would not accept any City buyout offers. The last one was $5,000. City staff said that he hasn’t provided sufficient information to value his business/lease differently.

Golf and Tennis Facility

The Council also decided to begin eminent domain proceedings on the golf and tennis facility near David’s Restaurant. They need the sites for the CityPlace project, too. IA Lodging Santa Clara owns the rights to operate the facilities. The land is still owned by the City. They haven’t been able to come to terms with the City either.  This time the vote was unanimous.

College Football Playoff Championship Game

The Council got a briefing from Jim Mercurio, 49ers VP and Stadium Manager, about the January 7 game at Levi’s Stadium. He said they’re expecting 70,000 fans to attend.

Mercurio then got an earful from some councilmembers about fans parking in Northside neighborhoods. Gillmor and Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe said that they drove around stadium neighborhoods before the 49ers vs. Raiders game a couple weeks ago. They saw no one on duty enforcing restricted parking like the team has promised. Kudos to Gillmor and Watanabe for checking things out themselves. Maybe they should get paid overtime.

Mercurio gave no real answers. So Gillmor and Watanabe referred the issue to City staff to come up with a work plan to fix the problem. That plan could include penalties. Wow. That’s good news for Northside neighborhoods.

Jim Mercurio
49ers VP and Levi’s Stadium manager Jim Mercurio.

Lawn Bowl Clubhouse

The Council decided to fix the current lawn bowl clubhouse trailer at Central Park for up to $175,000. City staff will make improvements for health and safety. Then, the City will see if other similar trailers are available from the school district. Or if grants are available to do something better.

But this doesn’t seem like a high priority for City staff or the Council. Only about 30-50 people use the facility. The Central Park master plan has identified over $20 million in other park needs.


The Council adjourned the meeting in honor of two people:

  • Ann Mulcrevy Holder — she and her family started Uncle John’s Pancake House and Holder’s Country Inn. Those were two great places. I had many delicious meals at the old Country Inn.
  • Tony York — the son of 49ers owners Denise DeBartolo York and John York. And the brother of Jed York. Nice move on behalf of the Mayor and Council.

Editor’s Note: Councilwoman Patty Mahan did not attend last night. This is the third council meeting in a row that she’s missed all of or part of. She missed the December 4 meeting and Councilman Pat Kolstad’s farewell. She left the November 27 meeting early because she wasn’t feeling well.  According to reliable sources, Mahan is currently vacationing in Hawaii. Will the Council establish an attendance policy next year?


  1. The sooner you get rid of Manco, the sooner things get better at the stadium. When Jim Mercurio says “l will do everything i can to stop residential parking during events” and then does nothing and has no plan. This shows his true intention.

    Jim & Manco got to go.

    • Jimmy can take his buddy, Mikey Sellers with him. There should’ve been a plan for neighborhoods 4 years ago. Sellers is so frickin’ lazy.

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