“I would like to seize as many hot dog carts as possible,” vows one city official in emails obtained by Bloomberg, as a crackdown on hot dog vendors is curiously one of the items on SF’s APEC preparations to-do list.
Wednesday brings big news on several fronts for the San Francisco bacon-wrapped hot dog cart scene. And it’s good news for Mission Street hot dog vendors, but bad news for Fisherman’s Wharf hot dog carts hoping to make bank during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.
News broke Wednesday that the newly announced Mission Street vending ban would, according to Eater SF, not apply to food vendors. That means hot dog carts and taco trucks are A-OK to operate on Mission Street once the street vending ban kicks in during November.
But a new Bloomberg report obtained internal SF City Hall emails showing that a crackdown on hot dog carts is in the works as APEC looms in November as well. That crackdown seems to focus on Fisherman’s Wharf the highly touristed area where the former Golden Gate Park ferris wheel is slated to be moved for the conference.
“I would like to seize as many hot dog carts as possible,” security and emergency preparedness consultant Kyle Thomas said, in an August email obtained by Reuters. That outlet also reports that Thomas’s email “requested boosted patrols from public-health inspectors to help impound the carts.”
Mayor Breed's spokesperson Jeff Cretan tells Bloomberg that the crackdown on street vendors has the Mayor’s blessing. “APEC or no APEC, that’s what she has been pushing,” he told Bloomberg.
To be fair, many of the SF APEC preparations Bloomberg describes are completely reasonable for any city preparing for a big international conference: scrubbing the sidewalks, adding new trash cans, repairing broken windows, and adding extra policing. The city will also be adding an undisclosed number of new homeless shelter beds, a move that seems wildly overdue.
But the vitriol toward bacon-wrapped hot dog carts is curious, as these vendors don't seem to be selling stolen items, they’re not selling alcohol, and they don’t contribute to any other larger crimes or urban blight. If City Hall or the Port Authority are planning to crack down on bacon-wrapped hot dog vendors, someone ought to tell them to hold the onions on that effort.
Image: @rayfilwong via Twitter