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?