Last week, we put out a query regarding the presence of Pomodoro, née Pasta Pomodoro, in North Beach, despite the neighborhood's well-chronicled ban on chain stores. The question evoked a good number of responses from various commenters, so before we reveal the real reason behind Pomodoro's happy existence, let's share some thoughts and theories on the matter:
1) "I wrote someone from the Chronicle and he said Pasta Pomodoro does not fall under the North Beach 'chain' ordinance since it first opened in San Francisco." [Guest]
2) The Pasta P in the Marina was the first location, and has been there for about 13 years (maybe more). I agree with the general disdain for chain restaurants. But is it not also counter to the Entrepreneurial spirit cultivated in this country to penalize Pasta Pomodoro, i.e. Pomodoro--founded by an Italian immigrant, staffed by residents of San Francisco many of whom are also immigrants-- for their success and force them out of a neighborhood because of legislation designed to 'preserve the uniqueness of the neighborhood'?" [moosedb]
3) "A chain is a chain, and the limit is 7 locations ... That means Adriano Paganini has no more right to be in business then does any other chain. What he should have done is changed the name and presented it as a unique establishment...but no...he plopped the same crappy uniform pasta joints all around the city. The Gap started in SF too... it's still a chain. " [Guest]
Now, according to the city, the explanation is simple: Pomodoro was plopped down on Union and Columbus before it qualified as a chain. Thus, there's nothing the city can do to kick them out. This sensible explanation seems well and fine enough, although we still have to wonder about the slippery slope involving Red Mango.
You'll recall that the yogurt shop was denied entry into North Beach because it clearly qualified as a chain; however, when it got the go-ahead for its permits and whatnot years ago, it was not yet a chain, which is why the owners, who believed they were misled, were so bitter about the rejection. Double standard? Loophole? None of the above?
· Eater Queries: Is Pomodoro Not a North Beach Chain? [~ESF~]
· Fro-Yo Wars: Red Mango Denied Entry Into North Beach [~ESF~]