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Parklet Drama Continues: As Mayor Pushes Back Deadline, Restaurants Receive Threats of Fines

Plus, angry people are calling the wrong restaurant in North Beach and more food news

Marlena’s parklet Patricia Chang

Following a San Francisco Chronicle report about the bungled rollout of new regulations on parklets in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed announced plans on Thursday to postpone the deadline for restaurant and bar owners who will need to alter their outdoor dining spaces in order to bring them up to code. Breed plans to introduce the new ordinance to the Board of Supervisors; if approved it would give business owners until March 31, 2023 to complete needed changes to parklets — a nine-month extension beyond the current June 30, 2022 deadline.

In the meantime, however, inspectors are continuing to deliver notices to a number of businesses with parklets that have been deemed to have “‘extreme’ safety or accessibility issues,” the Chronicle reports. As recently as Wednesday, a number of restaurants in North Beach received notices saying they have two weeks to correct violations or face fines up to $500 daily. Shared Spaces manager Robin Abad-Ocubillo tells the Chronicle that the city doesn’t actually plan to collect the fines (despite the threatening written notices) so long as business owners are “responsive and communicative with city departments.”

The promise is little comfort to restaurateurs like owner Kamal Kandel of Yarsa Nepalese Cuisine who on Wednesday received a notice saying he has two weeks to tear down his parklet’s roof, among other changes. Kandel told the Chronicle he had to borrow money from staff to build it in the first place and would probably have to dismantle the whole structure and rebuild from scratch in order to address all the necessary changes — something he doesn’t have the money to do.

According to a survey from local lobbying group the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, as many 79% of restaurants say their parklets are “essential to the survival of their business.” The group has been calling on the mayor to extend both the existing parklet permits and deadline for enforcement of the new regulations, in addition to “better multilingual communication” to permit holders. [SF Chronicle]

A case of mistaken identity impacts North Beach Restaurant

Hilda and Jesse, a restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, is making national headlines for asking two armed police officers to leave last week — but now North Beach Restaurant, a totally separate business, is fielding “hateful reviews and phone calls” from angry (and confused) people, KRON4 reports. [KRON4]

Contra Costa County doubles down on proof of vaccination enforcement

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors scolded health officials on Tuesday after reporting by the East Bay Times found no restaurants have been fined for failing to check diner’s proof of vaccination despite there being some 80 complaints to the county. [East Bay Times]

Just in time for the holidays, cult favorite florist opens retail shop

Rebekah Northway, a.k.a. the Petaler, has been building stunning floral installations for top SF restaurants like Octavia and Zuni Cafe for years — and now you can shop flowers, ceramics, pantry items, taper candle, and more at her retail shop located at 773 14th Street. It’s open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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