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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blue Bottle Kills Plans for Cart in Dolores Park

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 4:03 PM

click to enlarge Blue Bottle's James Freeman: No appetite for a contentious dispute. - NIALLKENNEDY/FLICKR
  • niallkennedy/Flickr
  • Blue Bottle's James Freeman: No appetite for a contentious dispute.

UPDATE: Rec and Park comments on Blue Bottle's decision, La Cocina says it still has plans to launch its cart.

It looks like opponents of a Blue Bottle coffee trailer in Dolores Park have gotten their wish. Blue Bottle's James Freeman tells SFoodie that there's a better than 90 percent chance that the company's plans for Dolores Park are dead.

"I wanted the cart to be charming and innocuous, and it was proving to be neither," says Freeman. "It's a shame, really. It's a little trailer ― it's not like we were planning a battery factory." Freeman says the company recently hired four baristas to work in Dolores Park, and one of his main concerns in ending his park plans was finding a place for the new hires in other Blue Bottle locations. Freeman says he's confident he can find a new home for the trailer, possibly in Oakland, site of Blue Bottle's roastery.

"According to my operations manager, she thinks we can find them the hours," says Freeman. He says he's also had conversations with Rec and Park's Phil Ginsburg and Nick Kinsey about canceling Blue Bottle's contract for Dolores Park. "Rec and Park is fine with that," Freeman says. "They know I'm in a tough situation."

In the past week Since Monday, an online petition drive called Stop the Commercialization of Dolores Park had, at the time this was published, garnered 93 signatures protesting Rec and Park's decision earlier this year to grant two vending contracts, one to Blue Bottle, the other to La Cocina.

Freeman says that ultimately, he doesn't have an appetite for what he calls a contentious dispute. "I have reached the limit of my ability to be involved in a controversial situation."

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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