After a few negotiating sessions with the Police Department's permits officer, JapaCurry owner Jay Hamada thinks he's found a solution to his location woes Downtown.
Hamada tells SFoodie one of his new locations is 420 Howard, at Fremont, where the 51st State truck sets up Mondays and Fridays. JapaCurry now has a permit to operate there at lunch Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Hamada says he plans to start Feb. 22. As for 620 Mission (at New Montgomery), where JapaCurry had been okayed to set up twice a week ― but where he'd slammed into a roadblock of resistance form nearby brick-and-mortar owners ― Hamada says he's allowed to show up one day per week, either Wednesday or Thursday, but not both.
Hamada calls that a "compromise" the Police Department brokered with restaurant owners in the area. As for the Second Street location near Harvest and Rowe, Hamada's permit has been voided.
And Hamada's been granted a permit to sell in another FiDi location he declined to identify, fearing restaurant resistance even before he has a chance to pull up to the curb. Hamada says he's been issued a permit to sell in the undisclosed location Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, but plans to wait a few weeks before he show up ― weeks he'll spend doing outreach to brick-and-mortar owners. "I want to go there and introduce myself," Hamada says, "tell them what we do and give them my menus, and make sure that there are no conflicts."
What about the restaurants near 420 Howard? Couldn't there be resistance there? Hamada says he's already paid a visit to Sushi Fantastic at 215 Fremont to tell them JapaCurry's on its way. "I talked to the owner, Alex, gave him my menu, and actually he said he's okay with it, which kind of surprised me," Hamada says, with something like surprise in his voice. "He's a nice guy."