Back in the frying pan: Bacon restaurant to reopen after controversy
San Franciscans battle over bacon restaurantPlay Video
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Bacon lovers in San Francisco are rejoicing as a local restaurant is out of the fire and back to loading up the frying pan.
Bacon Bacon, a restaurant in the Haight Ashbury district, will reopen after owner Jim Angelus gained approval from San Francisco’s Planning Commission on Thursday following a petition and campaigns on Facebook and YouTube. The establishment had been shut down since May because of complaints about the heavy aroma of bacon by neighbors and issues with the restaurant's permits.
“I was brought to tears today,’’ Angelus told TODAY. “I mean, really, the support of your neighborhood to come out was awesome.”
Angelus opened the business last summer, building a menu completely around bacon with items ranging from bacon jam to chocolate-covered bacon, and cooking 300 pounds of bacon per day. Some neighbors near the restaurant began lodging formal complaints, mainly about the smell, including a particularly heated campaign by one neighbor.
“He compared me to Al Capone, and he also compared me to a bank robber,’’ Angelus said.
A neighbor wanted him to install a filtration system and Angelus requested that the neighbor’s complaint be withdrawn before he installed it. The ongoing fight prevented Bacon Bacon from securing the proper permits during a review period by the city, resulting in the store’s closure in May. While the restaurant was closed, Angelus sold his bacon creations via a food truck.
During its closure, bacon fans rallied around the restaurant. A petition gathered 3,000 signatures, fans posted on Facebook, and T-shirts popped up to support the campaign. "Saturday Night Live" even joked about it during “Weekend Update.”
At Thursday’s hearing, a dozen Bacon Bacon supporters gave testimony, saying that it was more of a positive addition to the neighborhood than a hindrance. Bacon Bacon, which has been mandated to install a filtration system by the commission, is now expected to reopen before the end of the summer.