In last week’s ruling by the Parks and Recreation Commission, street-food vendors are granted the opportunity to push their carts in any of the 200 parks in San Francisco. Just a week later these licenses are already garnering lots of interest from vendors, even at the steep baseline price of $1000 per month.
Of course, this being San Francisco the decision to license vendors for a fee does not come without significant controversy. Opponents are concerned that such a high licensure cost will prohibit the smaller independent carts from being allowed to sell, while creating Starbucks like monopolies of chain carts, like the ones run by Blue Bottle Coffee.
Perhaps, the bigger question is whether the appeal of street food has as much to do with the small thrill of purchasing a black market hot dog, as it does with the food itself. In other words, perhaps the same rule that applies to Facebook and cocaine applies to The Creme Brulee Guy as well: once your mom’s on to it, it’s just not cool anymore.