When City Hall banned vending on Mission Street, it offered two alternative sites for legal vendors. But now the city is shutting one of them down, because no one ever goes there.

In the now three-year battle with illegal Mission Street vending, the city’s latest solution has been to ban vending outright on Mission Street (between 14th Street and Cesar Chavez Street, at least), but allow legal and permitted street vendors two alternative street vending spots. One of these is 2137 Mission Street near 17th Street, a long-vacant indoor retail spot that they’re now calling “El Tiangue.”

Yet now just over four months into that site’s incarnation as a legal vending bazaar, Mission Local reports the city is shutting down that legal vending spot, because the place is always empty.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

A closing date was not announced in that report. The other legal vending site, known as “La Placita” in an outdoor parking lot space at 24th and Capp street, will remain open. The remaining El Tiangue vendors will be offered spots at La Placita.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

According to Mission Local, El Tiangue was supposed to be “filled with at least 40 vendors.” But on SFist’s visit there shortly after 3 pm this Wednesday afternoon, we saw about a half-dozen vendors, only two customers, and a depressing display of Easter decorations for a holiday that passed 11 days ago.

Image: Joe Kukura, SFist

“The majority of our business comes from people walking by Mission Street and getting off the bus,” La Placita vendor Doña Hilda told Mission Local. “People don’t really come into this space.” Hilda estimates her vending revenue has fallen by about 90% since she started using the legal space, a figure backed by other vendors with whom that site spoke.

Mission Local also estimates they saw about 20 illegal vendors brazenly operating between 21st and 24th streets on Mission Street, clearly doing far better business than the legal vendors. So it's another example of how the vending ban may only be hurting those who try to play by the rules.

Related: Mission Street Vendors to Protest Temporary Ban With Friday March [SFist]

Images: Joe Kukura, SFist