It turns out, no matter what you do in Dolores Park besides selling ganja-laced chocolates or getting drunk, controversy and protest will follow. First Blue Bottle got a permit, along with local non-profit restaurant incubator La Cocina, to operate a concession in Dolores Park, and anti-corporate Missionites saw red. Despite being a local company and pretty damn small, Blue Bottle was seen as the enemy, and they backed down rather than face a backlash. Now La Cocina is ready to bring their revolving concession to the park, which will be based out of an eight-by-twelve foot aluminum trailer, and a fellow known as Chicken John is having none of it! As the Examiner reports, Chicken John doesn’t give a rat’s ass how non-profit, small-scale, community-based, or lovable La Cocina is, he’s going to make a stink about them trying to sell anything besides drugs, beer, or water in the Mission’s favorite park.
“We want to be as sensitive as possible to the community we’re in,” says Caleb Zigas, director of La Cocina. “But we’re also ready to go and our vendors have invested money already and we need to help them get their business rolling.” The plan for the trailer is to feature a different La Cocina-affiliated vendor every couple of months, in repertory. (Sidebar: La Cocina also happens to be the charity that Traci Des Jardins is competing for on Top Chef Masters, and she won them $5,000 last night in the Quickfire.)
Zigas won’t divulge the exact launch date for the planned roll-out in Dolores Park, but in order to get the first vendor, Chaac Mool, up to speed, they’re going to do trial runs with the trailer in the next couple of weeks at one undecided location, as well as at the Proxy site in Hayes Valley (Octavia and Fell). As Zigas further explains, “Chaac Mool is a Yucatecan business owned by wife and husband team Maria de la Luz and Luis Vazquez. They are fifth generation Yucatecan cooks, and they will be focusing on their specialty: cochinita pibil served on handmade organic corn tortillas. Yum.”
Despite there already being tons of concessions in multiple city parks, Chicken John is itching to stir the pot about the “privatization” of this particular Mission park, comparing La Cocina’s operation to “an auto parts store or a Walmart or a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.”
Whatever, guy. You’ll have a good day or two of media-exposure glory, followed by the rest of us enjoying some delicious snacks with our wine, all summer long, that we won’t have to walk all the way to Bi-Rite to buy.
‘Chicken John’ Rinaldi clucking over eats in San Francisco’s Dolores Park [Examiner]
Earlier: Blue Bottle Backs Down From Dolores Park Plan [Grub Street]