Like Dolores Park coffee stand, food cart irks Mission District neighbors 

Following the banishment of a proposed Dolores Park coffee stand, neighborhood residents are now causing a kerfuffle about a new ­Mexican-­food trailer set to open soon.

In April, the commercial kitchen space La Cocina made a deal with the Recreation and Park Department to open a Yucatán trailer on a paved area near the Hellen Diller Playground. But now that Chaac Mool is about to open, neighbors have asked Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the area, to help in moving it to the street.

Wiener said the neighbors asked whether Chaac Mool could be parked at the foot of the park on Dolores and 19th streets, which is not actually on park property but still close to it.

“I told them that I would look into it,” Wiener said.

However, since this would relocate the cart to the property of the Department of Public Works, it would be rather unorthodox for the parks department to collect the revenue.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Public Works spokeswoman Gloria Chan said Thursday. But later, she wrote an e-mail saying her department would nonetheless try to work with Wiener. The supervisor said he would not do anything to jeopardize Rec and Park’s income.

Area residents who rallied against a proposed Blue Bottle Coffee stand last fall could not be reached for comment Thursday. However, the neighborhood merchants who successfully opposed that cart have not made any strong push to oust La Cocina.

“I’m sure Blue Bottle was [opposed] because it would compete with Dolores Park Cafe,” said Deena Davenport, the founder of Valencia Corridor ­Merchants Association.

However, Executive Director Kaleb Zigas of La Cocina, which serves as an incubator for low-income food entrepreneurs, said he was surprised and a little put off by the opposition to Chaac Mool.

“We feel like we followed every rule,” Zigas said. “I’m disappointed that we’ve returned to this point.”

Yet Zigas, Wiener and officials from Public Works and Rec and Park all said they were willing to work with each other on a solution.

In the meantime, Zigas said Chaac Mool and its $2 cochinita pibil tacos (slow-roasted pork) could open any day now.

Pork and tortillas

Chaac Mool, an 8-by-4-foot Yucatán food trailer that obtains its grub through La Cocina — a commercial kitchen space for low-income food entrepreneurs — will soon open in Dolores Park. Here is what it will offer:

Tacos cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork): $2
Tacos with handmade organic tortillas: $3
Tortas: $6

Source: La Cocina

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Kamala Kelkar

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