Few food items have enjoyed a more surprising recent resurgence than
the savory strips of pig fat known as bacon. It is being wrapped
around entrees, used to swizzle cocktails, and even serves as a flavor
of ice cream.
But now a popular pork-focused restaurant in the Upper Haight must
close its doors Friday following months of failed negotiations with
neighbors over neighborhood concerns about porcine aroma and grease
Department of Public Health officials say the owners of Bacon Bacon,
located at 205A Frederick Street, have had months since opening the
space to address these and other concerns. But following their failure
to do so, the restaurant must shut its doors.
"We allow businesses to operate for awhile under change of ownership,"
said Richard Lee, director of environmental health regulatory
programs, Department of Public Health. "But they didn't meet the
The announcement has created a swell of online support for the cafe,
including an online petition on the Bacon Bacon website with more than
1,600 signatures from Bay Area residents who support the operation.
Owner Jim Angelus said he's overwhelmed by the support.
In August, the restaurant was given a notice that it lacked the proper
health permits, according to the letter from The City's health
department instructing it to cease operations. That letter gave the
restaurant 75 days to resolve the issue.
A public hearing must be held before Bacon Bacon can continue
operating, but one may not be scheduled until July, Planning
Department officials said.
Angelus said that he has tried to meet with neighbors to resolve their
concerns since last year, but the parties have failed to agree.
"It's frustrating," Angelus said. "Two weeks ago, the health
department showed up saying we had no permits. So we had a hearing and
one person showed up saying they were opposed. They told us we had
long enough to resolve these issues — and as a result, we have to
cease operations May 17."
Residents were able to express their concerns following the location's
change in ownership. Neighbors took the occasion to raise concerns
with the lack of a filtration system to alleviate the aroma of bacon,
illegal parking of a related food truck on a residential street and
claims that bacon grease was dumped directly into the sewer system,
according to their attorney Ryan Patterson.
The neighbors — whom Patterson declined to name — have been willing to
work with the new business owner, but they've not seen the same
response, he said.
"My client offered to pay the restaurant owner money to install an air
filter," Patterson said. "To date, the owner has not accepted that
Ted Loewenberg, president of the Haight Ashbury Improvement
Association, said his association does not oppose the small business,
but that it needs to play by the rules.
"It makes the people who go through the process — as painful as it is
— look like chumps," Loewenburg said. "The purpose of this regulation
is that the government is there to provide a basic level of safety."
But the trouble for Bacon Bacon doesn't stop there. Angelus was able
to replace the store's food truck recently, but he can't operate that
either unless he secures an approved kitchen location where he can