Oakland restaurant owner and artists clash over code enforcement

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Today there was a clash between a longtime Oakland restaurant owner and Oakland artists over code enforcement. It happened at what was supposed to be a news conference near Jack London Square.

"I told you this meeting was about standing with you," said Dorothy King, restaurant owner.

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"But I'm telling you, you did it wrong," said BG Anaraki, artist.

"But you can't tell me what I did right or wrong," said King.

"My friends died, I can tell you whatever I want" said Anaraki.

"I sympathize with that," said King.

"This meeting is meaningless because you are hurting us. This is hurting us," said Anaraki.

"Okay well I'm sorry," said King

Homeless advocate Dorothy King owns Everett & Jones Barbeque, a fixture in Oakland. Next door to the restaurant on the second floor there is an arts and entertainment venue called the Salt Lick Collective. King fears it could become another Ghost Ship. After the fire and seeing people in line to go to Salt Lick she decided to speak out.

Artists interjected at the press conference:

"There are two walkways where you can exit. There's also a fire escape which reporters might've noticed is at the front of the building," said Steve Lefedere, artist.

But that fire escape only leads to the edge of the roof. A work ladder is strapped on it.

The artists fear eviction now, but King wants to put pressure on the city to find affordable housing.

"All we are after, and I love the artist community, but the property owner is at the end of the day responsible for making sure all those individuals enjoying themselves, living there are safe. And the property owner has to be responsible for all the codes necessary," said Noel Gallo, Oakland City Council.

In the end, both sides agreed to meet again at the restaurant, this time with city officials to hammer out a solution.

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