[pic by Hélène Goupil]
Mission Local has a write up about last night’s meeting with Supervisor David Campos, local business owners and residents. The owner of La Victoria Bakery wants to turn it into “a Latino-themed lounge and a coffee bar,” and Elixir’s owner wants to expand the 150+ year old bar into a space next door.
There are a whole lot of places to go to in the Mission if you’re looking to get drunk. Would a few more really make more people drink more alcohol? Maybe they would, and for many people from other neighborhoods an evening in the Mission means they’ll be staggering home by the end of the night.
Why is it so crucial to so many businesses that they be able to sell alcohol? Besides the markup, wouldn’t it be nice to think that there could be a thriving restaurant, bakery or foods store that just didn’t happen to have any alcohol? Dosa claimed that they needed to have hard liquor to stay in business on Valencia, and the city agreed. In the case of the corner stores, it really just seems like booze is what drives people in and makes sure they spend a lot more than if they just wandered out with a pack of gum. Considering the high rents in the neighborhood it makes sense that you can’t run a business on gum sales.
Are these businesses offering good enough times without alcohol? Or maybe the question is do they offer something that is greatly enhanced with it, and missing something without it? Would you go bowling if there was no liquor or even beer? Oh, and by the way, have you ever seen a movie . . . on booze?! You would probably go eat a dinner without alcohol, but probably spend at least a third less.
The business owners may have a good point, but in the end I think the biggest issue is that nothing loosens a grip on the wallet like liquor. People will pay more for anything when it’s part of the package, and they’ll do it with much less hesitation. Just throw on some fancy words like “muddled” and “artisan” and you’re in business.