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Are Restaurant Bans a Good Idea?

Here in San Francisco, there have been some interesting developments on the restaurant front. City officials are just one step away from approving a ban that would limit new restaurant openings in a prominent neighborhood. The area in question is North Beach, a bustling neighborhood filled with coffee shops, bars, tourists, and Italian restaurants. According to those who proposed the law, North Beach residents are concerned about the number of restaurants and bars opening in the touristy neighborhood, while shops — hardware store, laundromats, and shoe-repairs — have closed.

I'm not sure how I feel about this bill, and can't help but think that it sets the precedent for other similar laws around the country. On the one hand, it's important to protect small commerce from being pushed out, especially family-owned shops that provide a service. But on the other hand, I wonder if this is a smart move on the part of the city. Would the bill really help to keep other commerce in business, or would this ban simply make matters worse in a time when the economy is already lagging? What do you think about the bill?


ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i'm not sure that i have enough information to really make a decision on this one. i can understand that there's a bit of frustration on the part of business owners in the area that have their stores close and then see that new restaurants are popping up but isn't it the right of an owner to open a place where they want and then to fend for themselves to make things work out? i think that sometimes it's a testament of what types of businesses can succeed in a given area, but i guess i really just need to know more about this before i can say yea or nay to it.
dootsie dootsie 9 years
I think it depends on what kind of area they'd like the place to be. If they don't want it to be a purely tourist spot, or if they're worried about chains coming in, then it's sensible.
356UIK 356UIK 9 years
HUH? This doesnt even make sense to me. Sounds like these restaurants are small business, mom and pop things as well. So what difference does it make if their business is the food business? However, I bet the restaurants that are already established would love this ban, so they would have less competition. WEIRD!
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Not good. I would think, too, that having a lot of restaurants would bring more people to the area who might be inclined to patronize the other stores.
orangek8 orangek8 9 years
It's not like I think to myself, "Man, I really need to go buy a hammer, but since I can only afford hardware OR lunch, I think I'm going to go with lunch today. Sorry, Mom and Pop." ?!?!?!??
chancleta chancleta 9 years
the government has no right placing this ban
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
This is ridiculous! Why should I not be able to open up the shop of my choice?
syako syako 9 years
Gotta love San Francisco! This just is another example of government getting too big and putting its dirty hands in situations where no one asked them to get involved. If mom and pop shops aren't doing well, and this truly is a touristy area, then - to me - it makes sense that places like restaurants/coffee shops (where tourists frequent) would be successful while laundromats and hardware stores (where tourists rarely go) wouldn't do well. A government big enough to give you all you want, is big enough to take it all away. -Barry Goldwater
lisabarn lisabarn 9 years
I am sooooooooo frustrated by San Francisco politics and Peskin's (the supervisor from North Beach that proposed this) no growth in North beach Agenda that he has pushed through over the last few years. He has blocked development of the old Pagoda theater for years and it just sits there an abandoned eyesore. This idea is horrible, it doesn't guarantee that the mom and pops will come back and landlords may not be able to get tenants for their properties, just adding to the economic downturn.... grrr
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 9 years
I'm all for protecting the small-business owner, but I'm not sure this is a good solution. Around here, businesses of all types are packing up and shipping out. That means jobs are leaving, too. In this economy it seems like any new business would be welcome. I'm not sure that I understand the correlation between restaurants opening and laundromats or hardware stores closing. In my opinion, people aren't patronizing those places because local tends to be more expensive and they're in search of a less expensive chain store. Sad, but true.
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