BlogDowntown charts the ongoing journey of Two Bits Market, a sandwich and organic ingredient store in the Alexandria Hotel, which like many local businesses is doing its best to navigate the bureaucracy of opening a food-based project. Beset by permitting pains and crushed under labyrinthine laws, owner Brandi Lozano sought the help of Eddie “Fast Eddie” Navarette, which like Two Bits, is another name that sounds like it bounded out of Guys and Dolls. Who is this restaurant rainmaker with a hat full of miracles?
Navarette is the owner of F.E. Design, a one-stop shop that facilitates opening a restaurant and expedites permit approvals. On his company website, Navarette promises to help design your space, negotiate through twelve different city agencies, navigate the dense number of city codes, walk the plans through the appropriate agencies, and secure approvals by working with the people who hold the most sway.
Tapping the minutes from a land use meeting past, we see Navarette has represented restaurants like Animal and Eva in getting things done, while his website has a list of successes with the likes of Tarte Tatin and Lemonade. As for Two Bits and its pressures from the Bureau of Sanitation, who was requiring it to install an expensive grease interceptor, Navarette tells BlogDowntown, “They had intimidated her into thinking she had to have a grease interceptor…Even after she said she wouldn’t do panini sandwiches, they told her she still needed the interceptor because she would be cutting cheese. It was ridiculous.”
Not intimidated by intimidators, Fast Eddie secured a waiver for the market, becoming a hero to yet another entrepreneur of edibles. Now that the city has started a program to streamline the opening process, Two Bits owner doesn’t expect any more impediments to starting her business, but the Fast Eddies of the world will probably never be obsolete. Sounding a little like Lois Lane after the first time Superman took flight, Lozano remembers her hero coming to save the day when she says, “They call him ‘Fast Eddie.’ Where I was stonewalled, he was able to get answers and move everything along.”
One Long Road for Two Bits Market [BlogDowntown]