Earlier this week, an anonymous complaint filed with the city resulted in the removal of benches outside Say Cheese, the 41-year-old fromagerie and sandwich shop at Cole and Carl streets.
The complaint was filed by "someone with too much time on their hands," according to a shopkeeper we spoke to—a "meanie," said another—who may have based the complaint on the basis of the city's minor encroachment permit rule.
Under the law, businesses that place amenities like tables or benches on the sidewalk must first obtain a permit from Public Works.
Normally, the city requires merchants to submit an application form—along with a non-refundable fee, site photos and drawings or sketches—but after an intercession by District 5 Supervisor London Breed, the benches reappeared, just in time for the weekend.
"In this case," said one Cole Valley merchant, "the good guys won."
"Those benches are one of my favorite places to sit in all of Cole Valley," said Steve Silberman, an author who lives nearby.
"You can be still and observant as everyone rushes off the N-Judah still on downtown time," and the benches offer older and disabled residents a place to rest, he told Hoodline.
"They're a tiny but crucial feature of the human landscape of Cole Valley."