Earlier this week, Mission bar Zeitgeist made this announcement on its Facebook page.
“We are sad to announce that the Tamale Lady may no longer sell her tamales at Zeitgeist. This is forced on us by the SF city codes and regulations.”
Virginia Ramos, also known as the Tamale Lady, has been a longstanding institution in San Francisco, selling her tamales outside bars in the Mission for years. According to SFist, Ramos was shocked when she received the news. And although she sells at other spots, she told SFist she feels the most community support at Zeitgeist. “This is one of the places I can see you guys all the time and talk to you guys and love you guys,” Ramos said. “Everyone comes in, there’s a patio with everybody sharing everything. So that’s one of the things that really upsets me about it.”
The news highlights perhaps a bigger issue in San Francisco – why is the city seemingly so unfriendly to small businesses? It is a problem that is especially seen in the restaurant industry, with regulations, building codes, the normally slow inspection process among the laundry list of items needed to be checked off by restaurateurs before opening, this as big tech companies like Twitter have received tax breaks to build offices in the city. Are politicians in San Francisco focusing too much on big businesses and less on the little guys?
Photo Credit: Yelp user J.S.