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Patrons show support for cafe

By William Inman Daily Planet Staff
Wednesday October 04, 2000

It was a sit in, of sorts.  

Long-time patrons of the French Hotel Cafe on Shattuck Avenue decided to drag their own tables and chairs from home to the sidewalk in front of the cafe Tuesday afternoon.  

The establishment stopped putting chairs and tables on the sidewalk at the end of May, when the owner was cited for not having an administrative permit to do so. 

“Some of us have been coming here for 20 years,” said Leonard Pitt. “And then one day we were told we couldn’t sit out here.” 

Owner Sandy Boyd applied for the permit in August, but was told that it would take 30 days for it to be processed. 

“The timeline now is two to four months,” said manager Nathan Arata. “It’s out of our hands now.” 

The cafe gave out a free cup of coffee to each person who showed up to protest.  

“Some of the people protesting have been coming here for years and are valued customers,” he said. “We want to support them.” 

Several of the protesters, including City Council District 5 candidate Carrie Olson, say they are not only protesting the fact that the cafe needs an administrative use permit, they’re making the point that it takes too long to get a permit.  

“It’s an impediment to the business and an inconvenience for customers,” she said.  

Olson said that the patrons checked with police to find out if it was legal to bring their own tables and chairs beforehand. 

“They said it’s legal to bring your own tables and chairs as long as you don’t obstruct the sidewalk,” she said.