Ask anyone who follows San Francisco's street-food scene which vendor hustles hardest, and chances are they'll name Soul Cocina's Roger Feely.
The man is everywhere. Festivals, secret after-hour street-food parties, weekly pop-up dinners, Indian cooking classes ― you name it ― Feely has a wide variety of outlets for slinging what SFoodie editor John Birdsall once called "the most polished and straight-up delicious food."
But as one of the original folks from the 2009 Street Food Explosion (which included Magic Curry Kart and Adobo Hobo), Feely says he might be forced to leave S.F.'s streets for Chicago, where his family now lives.
"I'm really upset about leaving," Feely tells SFoodie, citing his work connections, clients, and street-food comrades as things he'll miss most. Feeley has given himself a deadline of April 1 to decide if there's enough business for him to stay in the city, or if he'll pack up for the Midwest.
Until then, Feely isn't slacking off. For the next couple of Tuesdays, he'll be guest chef at PizzaHacker's weekly pop-up at the Corner, where he plans to serve up Caesar salad and melt-in-your mouth arancini. And he'll do his signature Mexican-inspired dinner at La Victoria on Mar. 25.
Assuming he does end up moving, one of Feely's last events promises to be his biggest: Outside In X, now scheduled for Sun., Mar. 27. One thing is certain: Feely ― and his cuisine ― will certainly leave a void on city streets that'll be difficult to fill.