La Cocina to Look Into Moving Out of Dolores Park

Like Blue Bottle before them, La Cocina's Caleb Zigas released this statement announcing that La Cocina intends to move their food trailer out of Dolores Park:

San Francisco is a city full of dialogue. It's one of the many reasons that people love this place, and a reputation that we've gained over the years. The last couple of weeks have seen an intense dialogue about Dolores Park, one that we've been very much a part of. It's clear that people and communities are passionate about Dolores Park. We are too - it's one of the reasons that we first leapt at the opportunity for our clients to have a presence there. it's a park that is, in so many ways, symbolic of this city. From the views, to the people to the history and, well, even to this.

La Cocina pursued this opportunity because it is a great way to bring great food, made by great people, to a great community in a great park. We still believe that all of these things are, well, great. But being part of a community means listening to the community, and we take that seriously. We will be launching our trailer tomorrow at Dolores Park, pursuant to our contract with the Recreation and Parks Department, and are thrilled at the opportunity to do. Through conversations with the Office of the Supervisor [Wiener] and other interested parties, however, we are committed to a compromise that works for everyone. To that end, we are enthusiastic about the prospect of moving our trailer from inside of the park to the curb cut-in space at the entrance of the park at Dolores and 19th. Working the Supervisor Wiener and the appropriate City Departments, we would still honor our contracts and payment agreement to Rec and Parks, ideally generating at least some positive economic impact for them while serving the neighbors and community of Dolores Park to the extent possible. We have understood that this process could take up to six months, and, if at that point we have not been able to move, we will be happy to find a space for our trailer and vendors where they are embraced by the community elsewhere.

At the end of the day, we very much believe that a happy ending is an agreement that everyone can be happy about. And we are excited at having found this potential ending after this long road.

According to Chicken John, the new location would be on the curb on Cumberland St., just off of Church between 19th and 20th, and the move/compromise is being actively worked on by Supervisor Wiener.  Crisis averted.

In other (now dated) news, Chicken John had an op-ed published in the SFBG this afternoon that makes for an interesting read.

[photo by Gary Stevens]

Comments (20)

Interesting! So this actually was the best possible move, but it’s surprising the city found a way to allow it.

So far I’m pretty impressed with Wiener.

The best possible move would be to let it stay in the park, right where it’s parked right now. I got tacos from it last weekend. It’s totally innocuous and is actually pretty small in comparison to the feet of other food trucks that park along the park on a busy day.

The terrorist poser won….NIMBYs 5 the rest of us 0.

Hope someone molotovs Ritual soon. Terrorist Coffee!

I guess that’s one way of looking at it. Or you could look at it as a reasonable comprise that tries to resolve a complex and subtle disagreement. Dolores Park gets tacos. La Cocina gets to go back to focusing on their awesome business model. Those of us who see it as commercializing park space are given some consideration. More less a win-win.

But yeah, someone should totally molotov Ritual, cause like, they had so much to do with all of this.

But was Chicken John reasonable with all his false claims and cheap publicity stunts? Recs and Parks and La Cocina had no reason to be reasonable to with that idiot.

Dolores Park has been S-A-Y-V-U-D! Praise Jesus Fucking Christ!

It must be an amazing feeling to be able to throw a tantrum and have businesses jump to do your bidding.

After victory, tighten your helmet cord.

Kevin, we’re not reading this the same. If I’m misunderstanding , please correct me.

As I read both Caleb and CJ’s posts, my understanding is that Chaac Mool will open in Dolores Park this Saturday, April 30th as La Cocina had planned and will remain for up to six months at the Rec & Parks planned location in the park for six months, that is Spring and Summer 2011.

After six months, that is, October 2011, “if we [La Cocina/Chaac Mool] have not been able to move, we will be happy to find a space for our trailer and vendors where they are embraced by the community elsewhere” where ‘elsewhere’ refers to the potential new location not the existing location in Dolores Park and the ‘if’ refers to a decision by Dept of Public Works, not the public, RPD or the D8 Sup.

Simply put, Chaac Mool is in Dolores Park for at least six months with no obligation to move thereafter unless DPW takes action.

Now, recall Rec & Park’s license to La Cocina includes a 30-day unilateral termination clause, that is, RPD can shut-down La Cocina in 30 days for any reason. So, there’s always been recourse for the public via RPD to remove (or move) La Cocina from Dolores Park on a much shorter fuse. The concession described above is much weaker wrt empowering the public to remove Chaac Mool from Dolores Park than what Rec & Parks previously established. Simply put, the Sup’s office got CJ to commit to six months of chillaxing with no obligations whereas RPD got La Cocina to commit to one month notice and you’re fired, no reason necessary contract terms.

So, kudos to Scott Wiener and Gillian Gillette for giving Chicken this nominal-only victory to save what liminal credibility remains him and letting actual park patrons respond to Chaac Mool if only for real-world feedback for cool-headed public discussion of the vendor program’s (lack of) merits.

Rob Lord

Oh Rob, don’t be slathering on sanity and maturity in the middle of our poop parade! We just want to feel good about ourselves, since as spoiled brats feeling good about ourselves is all we care about in life.

Yes, they will open today in the Park. However, reading Caleb’s statement–and from what I’ve heard from people who are working on the issue–is that Caleb has every intention to move out of the park onto Cumberland Street. However, he knows that it might take up to 6 months (because it takes up to 6 months to do anything in this town, presumably).

From what I’m told, they were getting permits yesterday to move the cart. Caleb called up Wiener’s office, Chicken John, local businesses and said “let’s make this right.” They all agreed to move the cart out of the park. DPW even gave them the permits to close the street on the corner of Cumberland. When they went to Rec. & Park, they said “no way.” At this point, it sounds like it is up to r&c to make this right.

I agree they are under no legal obligation to move, but the tone of this statement suggests that they are serious about getting out of the park without doing any harm to their investment (since they clearly wouldn’t be able to setup shop on a streetcorner tomorrow).

Interesting. Even all that being true, my sense is this isn’t over.

I was out of town this weekend, but have a call w/ Phil Ginsburg this week. I’ll update if I find out anything new.


I changed the title to better reflect your concerns.

So what about other food trucks that already park at the curb? For example there’s the vegan truck (name escapes me at the moment) but they were there today. If one food truck has to pay rent to park at the curb, shouldn’t they all?

Hey, nobody asked us if we wanted a taco truck on our street! We will not be steamrolled! Especially by someone named Chicken John and a supervisor with the last name of Wiener! Where’s the dialog? Where’s the outreach? Get ready for a fight!

“Crisis averted”??? Fuck you.

Dolores Park totally needs a gift shop! Like the arboretum. I love happy endings!

I ate a grilled cheese sandwich (with apples and bacon) from one of the trucks on the curb, pretty good stuff. My pork taco from Chaac Mool was kind of meh, although my watermelon fresca was good.

How about they make Dolores pedestrian only on Sat and Sunday between 18th and 20th, and offer rental space to a couple of trucks along the curb?

+1 please more regular street closures! cars be damned! (ps I liked their cochinita pibil taco when I had it over in Hayes Valley recently, and the jamaica was good too)