Meet Chicken John. He once “ran” for Mayor. He would likely appreciate a title like Mayor of Mission, and this weekend he is organizing a demonstration for all those like him (he imagines a thousand, we’d imagine more like a dozen or two) who would rather “pour gasoline over our heads” than have a “store” in the middle of Dolores Park. It’s going to be a “puke-in,” and though he’s given no details about whether protesters should bring their own ipecac, Chicken says he’s “gonna go puke on a trailer” at 2 p.m. on Saturday — but, to be clear, La Cocina has not announced that their Chaac Mool trailer, soft-launching through yesterday in Hayes Valley, will even be there.
Now, this is a lot of big talk, and an obviously sensational escalation of what turned out to be successful resistance to the approved and earlier planned Blue Bottle trailer in the Park — last fall, Chicken John threatened Blue Bottle’s launch by saying there’d be “a thousand people there spitting on them on their opening day. [And] Fucking riot cops” greeting them. In place of spit, we now have puke, and we’re sure the event will be entertaining.
La Cocina has previously told Grub Street and others that they’re not looking to upset the community, and they’re trying to be sensitive, but that they feel like Chicken John represents only a loud minority who are exaggerating the reality of what is essentially a venue for mom-and-pop street-food vendors, who might otherwise be operating a cart on a sidewalk, to up their game in preparation for opening a restaurant elsewhere. (There are currently 192 signatures on this petition to “take back the park.”) People in the park get hungry, and after the initial resistance wears off it hardly seems like much of a difference whether the vendors are on the sidewalk at the edge of the park, or in the middle — and we don’t see Chicken John protesting the vendors all over Golden Gate Park, just Dolores, which happens to have become a center of sunny-day social activity for Missionites and others in the last five years. Also, Chicken John is criticizing La Cocina for trying to create a “profit center” in the middle of the park, which he says are their words — however, they are a non-profit, and if you’re going to discuss Chaac Mool’s cochinita pibil taco operation as a “profit center,” you may as well start examining the profit margins of the “cold beer cold water” guy too.
But as we said, it’s unclear that Chicken John et al will even have anything to puke on this Saturday, as La Cocina has strategically been trying to keep their launch date for the Chaac Mool trailer under wraps. Stay tuned.
Puke-In Being Held at Dolores Park This Saturday [Uptown Almanac]
Puke In This Saturday Dolores Park [Chicken John]
Earlier: Chaac Mool Concession to Launch in Dolores Park Within a Month Or So, Protest or No
What to Eat at the Chaac Mool Preview at Proxy This Weekend