"It just seemed so strange for someone who was trying to put all this behind him."
Natali's suit declared he'd been "falsely labeled a racist by San Francisco's official civil rights agency" and essentially asked that the report's findings be very clearly and publicly deleted.
But the still-empty Pendulum has allowed criticism of Natali to continue. Another Natali-owned space called the Patio Café has been closed now for years.
"The tone [of the July 21 rally] was that people don't trust Les Natali, nor do they feel that he has the best interests of the community in mind," Gipson said. "Being that the Patio has been closed for that long, it's difficult to trust that Pendulum will be open soon, and it's difficult to trust that it will be a welcoming place for African Americans." SFBG
Editor’s note: Alix Rosenthal is the domestic partner of Guardian city editor Steven T. Jones. Jones did not participate in the assigning, writing, or editing of this story.