SAN FRANCISCO – “We’re basically ready to go,” said Zigas, who noted they’re equipped to roll in and do business.Since La Cocina’s Caleb Zigas got the go-ahead several months ago to move a commercial food cart into Dolores Park, he’s waiting for a less official – yet more important – nod of approval from Mission District groups still grumbling about vendors selling in the park.
But that was a couple of weeks ago, when Zigas was stalling, hoping for the negative air to clear, but that looks unlikely.
So despite one-time mayor candidate Chicken John Rinaldi’s latest tactic to scare away park vendors – his manifesto asks those who oppose the commercialization of the park to join him in puking all over the trailers at 2 p.m. Saturday – Zigas confirmed that his client Chac Mool, purveyors of the popular Yucatecan tacos and tortas, will enter Dolores Park on Saturday, April 30th.
Not oblivious to Rinaldi’s plans for the puke protest, La Cocina’s owner has decided to have a soft opening this weekend at the Hayes Valley Proxy Project.
For the last six months, a heated philosophical debate about the privatization of parks at the hands of commercial vendors has made the whole ordeal messy at best. After a year of securing the necessary permits to set up a trailer at Dolores Park, Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee bowed out. Not local enough, said some, so owner James Freeman decided his energies and investments were better spent elsewhere.
In an e-mail earlier this month, Rinaldi said he has never threatened La Cocina, but that they would organize against any cart in the park.
“What we are so pissed off about is that there is no public input,” Rinaldi wrote. “That RPD (Rec and Parks) is selling out our parks and there is nothing we can do. The Commissioners are a rubber stamp.”
So taking note of the continued opposition, La Cocina, an organization that supports local food start-ups and considers itself a good neighbor, decided to proceed with caution.
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