Blue Bottle wheels deal out of Dolores Park

Relentless Dolores Park advocates drove Blue Bottle Coffee out of a contract to operate a slow-drip food cart on the overpopulated grassy knoll.

When the Recreation and Park Department made an agreement with the local coffee makers known for their inevitably long lines, surrounding business owners and park-goers were in cahoots about there not being enough outreach first.

The coffee cart was supposed to get to dripping this week, but park officials said the baristas backed out.

Blue Bottle backers maintained their composure with the support of several other long-time, local concessionaires, the complaints on the other side started getting vicious.

At the last Recreation and Park Commission meeting when they discussed where the cart would go, neighbors in opposition resorted to calling General Manager Phil Ginsburg names, and Commission President Mark Buelle suggested calling security.

They also threatened to boycott the stand, among other things.

Owner James Freeman told the commission, “I was the one that decided, me and my team, that it would be a great opportunity to make coffee in Dolores Park because we loved the park. We thought it was busy enough to be viable to set up a coffee business,” he said. “I also want to say there is commerce in the park right now. People sell things in the park every single day. It’s just not regulated commerce and none of the money really gets to The City or Park and Rec.”

Barista Michael Hamm, who was supposed to operate the cart said, “I’m sure we’ll be fine whether or not we’re in Dolores Park.’’

 
kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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