'Sweet Inspiration' Complies With Planning, Avoids Fines

The city has resolved its second code enforcement case in two years against Sweet Inspiration Bakery Café featuring Mike's Place (2239 Market St.) for violating local rules governing formula retailers

In the Castro—and many other commercial districts—companies with more than 11 locations must first obtain a Conditional Use permit before they can set up shop.

Although the restaurant is still Sweet Inspiration, it was recently acquired by Ike Shehadeh and chef Ryan Scott.

Newly redacted sandwich menu.

Shehadeh is founder of Ike's Place, a sandwich chain founded in the Castro that now has more than 30 locations.

In December 2017, SF Planning reopened a 2016 investigation into the eatery after receiving information that Sweet Inspiration was again "selling Ike's Place menu items." 

The violation also described a January 12 promotion that required customers to like Ike's Place on social media to receive a discounted burger, and noted that staffers wore Ike's-branded apparel.

When Hoodline spoke to Scott about Planning's findings last month, he said the matter was "old news and is approved by the city," since the café had been "selling Ike's recipes for over a year." 

Menu that violated city's formula-retail guidelines.

Regarding the uniforms, "we're sitting on Ike's T-shirts and my employees need to have continuity, so I'm going to use them," he said a few weeks ago.

Last week, Hoodline contacted Planning's Gina Simi who told us, "Zoning & Compliance closed the enforcement case."

As part of the enforcement action, Sweet Inspiration must pay a fee of $2,622.14 for "time and material costs" associated with SF Planning's investigation.

After inspecting the premises last Thursday, "no evidence of a formula retail use was found on the site, including menu items and employee uniforms," said Simi. "From Planning’s perspective, they have come into compliance."

Sweet Inspiration had until February 6th to appeal or comply; failure to do so could have resulted in fines up to $250/day.

When reached for comment, Scott said he and Shehadeh haven't decided whether they'll seek a Conditional Use permit for the location.

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Sweet inspiration complies with planning avoids fines