Los Angeles-based Lemonade, a fast casual chain that in the words of its marketing department is "part lemonade stand, part grade-school cafeteria," is reportedly in talks to set up shop in former La Boulange spaces. So far, report the Chronicle and the Business Times, the company is interested in the former La Boulange West Portal property.
Starbucks announced in June that it would close all La Boulange locations, a San Francisco chain it acquired for $100 million in 2012. Since then, and with La Boulange stores now closed, rumors have swirled that certain La Boulange locations might change their names and recipes and reopen as similar enterprises, with founder Pascal Rigo staging a big second coming. That rumor was recently buoyed by a business filing obtained by Hoodline that registered a "La Boulangerie de San Francisco" at the erstwhile chain's Pine Street flagship.
But, as the Chronicle writes, "La Boulange’s demise could give the group an opportunity to quickly penetrate a Bay Area marketplace that is notoriously tough to enter." Lemonade, of course, agrees. “We feel Lemonade is the perfect brand for San Francisco,” Alan Jackson, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “We think people will understand our level of food and appreciate our style of cooking and the fact that we are influenced by seasonality and are predominantly vegetables.”
According to the company's chief financial officer, Lemonade is considering 12 locations in the Bay Area. As of yet, according to Lemonade no lease has been signed. Of course, with 15 existing locations as far flung as San Diego, according to San Francisco's formula retail laws Lemonade is a chain. As such, the company would have to file for a conditional use permit.