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No Free Food at Art Openings in San Francisco. The San Francisco Department of Health wants to charge you for sharing food.

April 15, 2015

First they take your car, then your home, and now the right to feed people?
What next? Where does this end? We need changes at City Hall!

Not only have the city authorities given SFMTA the freedom to charge fines and fees at will, it now appears the San Francisco Department of Health has been given similar rights to make up new laws and charge fines and fees for things that we took for granted, like sharing food. Perhaps it is time to take a hard look at the authorities that the City has given to all their departments to charge the public at will. Perhaps that is a subject we should have with those running for elections and those in power now. Journalists, are you listening?


T H I S   J U S T   I N
SF Dept. of Public Health Regulations – Impact on Open Studios

Beverage Restriction for Open Studios (and all other Public events?

Private Event  =   A gathering that restricts entry by things like guest list checks at door or tickets required to get in.
Public Event  =  A gathering that does not have entry restrictions.

We have managed to establish with SFDPH that Open Studios are not just a public event, but a hybrid:  part public, part private.

Their regulations and fees apply to the public part.  This means:

1.  You may give food and beverages to your private clients and friends, i.e. people you know, but

2.  You may not give any food or beverages to the public, i.e. people you don’t know, without a permit, NOTHING, not even a store-bought, non-perishable, unopened, single-serve-packaged food or beverage item, like bottled water, or Hershey’s kiss, or fruit, NOTHING.

Therefore, without a permit, during OS:
— NO tables with snacks or drinks that anyone can walk up to and help themselves.
— Be aware who you hand a beverage or snack to– should only be to people you knew prior to this OS to avoid fines/penalties.

FYI, Health Inspectors have inspected our concessions every OS for a number of years.

Your Own Permit : OS is not an art fair that has a commercial sponsor.  Basically it’s a collective effort with each artist sponsoring his/her own OS.  In the public part of OS, you can be your own food sponsor and vendor (aka concessionaire or TFF) if you apply for a permit and pay fees in the 10’x10′ booth category.  You would also have to set up certain things in your studio per SFDPH regulations.  If interested, go to:

For Spring OS 2015
— it’s now the “late” application period.  Final deadline to apply for a permit to give food or beverages to the public is Friday, April 17.
— assuming there’s no problem with the applications I submitted last week, there will be a food truck (BBQ ) near Bldg.116, and vendors at 101 (tacos, coffee/smoothies, and a split shift of gyros 1 day and American the other).

If you and other artists decide to petition for an exception to the regs., the recourse is through the SF Health Commission:
Or maybe there will be a new idea that comes forward as artists wrap their brains around the impact of the SFDPH regulations.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 16, 2015 1:15 am

    Reblogged this on Grassroots Actions.


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