Want to open an ice cream shop in San Francisco? Get ready for a red-tape sundae.
Via the New York Times: Juliet Pries had a brainstorm: why not open an ice-cream parlor in San Francisco that combined the soda fountain techniques of the past, like phosphates, lactarts and egg-thickened milkshakes, with haute modern ingredients like bitter orange, candy-cap mushroom and rosewood extract? It's the sort of idea that might just take off in food-forward SF, but there was a hitch:
“Many times it almost didn’t happen,” said Juliet Pries, the owner, with a cheerful laugh.
Ms. Pries said it took two years to open the restaurant, due largely to the city’s morass of permits....
Ms. Pries said she had to endure months of runaround and pay a lawyer to determine whether her location (a former grocery, vacant for years) was eligible to become a restaurant. There were permit fees of $20,000; a demand that she create a detailed map of all existing area businesses (the city didn’t have one); and an $11,000 charge just to turn on the water.
The city's mayor Edwin M. Lee has promised to address these issues, with a new fund for small business development, but hurdles endure.
photo via dpstyles