SF to close storefront Mission vendors have been using during vending ban

Luz Pena Image
Thursday, April 11, 2024
SF to close storefront Mission vendors have been using during ban
San Francisco will close the "El Tiangue" storefront Mission Street vendors have been using during the 90-day vending ban.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Another change for the street vendors on San Francisco's Mission Street. This time, the city has decided to close down the "Tiangue" store where at least seven of them set shop every day.

"We don't have any more surprises because we go through a lot of things. So right now, it's just another step," said Rodrigo Lopez, president of the Street Vendors Association.

The city rented the storefront last year to offer vendors a place to sale indoors during the first street ban. This year, the city extended the ban and the storefront's lease.

"The first allocation was around $100,000 for the first three months that included operation cost, rent and staffing," said Santiago Lerma with the Department of Emergency Management, "On a given day, you see 5-10 vendors in there the place has capacity for 45. They continue to say that sales are slow because of the location of El Tiangue."

RELATED: SF data shows Mission St. is clean after vending ban, but permitted vendors say they are struggling

The president of the Street Vendors Association said the site simply didn't work.

"It was not the right thing for us. The city tried to do it with marketing and tried the best with marketing but it doesn't work," said Lopez, "Our customers are the kind of person that pass by and walk through. They see something and grab something."

One of those vendors, Manuel Soltero was not surprised by the city's decision.

"Well for me, is the same. Closed or not closed, we don't sale nothing," said Soltero.

VIDEO: SF Mission St. vendors blame 90-day ban for contributing to them ending up homeless, living in van

The 90-day street vending ban is still in effect in San Francisco and now multiple street vendors are reporting housing insecurity.

Tito Ledesma is not looking forward to the other location. He said the city is now putting more limitation on them.

"It's going to be closed on Sunday and Monday and we are vendors. We have to be out there seven days a week," said Ledesma, about the other location.

All the vendors are being asked to move to the outdoor location on 24th street after April 21, but even the vendors there say business is still bad.

"We are 300 feet from Mission and people don't come here," said Jose Barrajas, street vendor at the 24th street location.

MORE: SF health dept. launches campaign against unpermitted food vendors citing 'unsanitary conditions'

Street vendors are hoping for the city to intervene. Santiago Lerma with the Department of Emergency Management confirmed the city is looking into what laws could change to allow for local enforcement to tackle illegal fencing and let permitted vendors sell on Mission Street again.

Luz Pena: "What I'm hearing today is that vendors are looking into potentially working with the city to be able to go out and sell again on Mission Street?"

Santiago Lerma: "Yes that is what they desire and they have made that clear to us that their priority is to return to Mission Street. We are working with them to review any possibility or how that would work."

The latest street vending ban is set to expire in August.

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