The Chicago Reader is publishing a story this week. It relates Logan Square Kitchen’s terrible difficulties in the bureaucracy of City Hall over the past year. It was not an easy decision, to decide to speak to the press. For the past year, every attorney has advised me to keep quiet, for fear of retailiatory action by the City. So this time, I didn’t ask.
It’s hard to believe that Logan Square Kitchen is a year old. Like many things, it feels like a week and 20 years at the same time. In spite of terrible problems with our economy and banking industry, we’re fulfilling our purpose to help small food businesses start and grow. And one year into operations, we are still bound in red tape in City Hall, unable to operate our business to its full potential.
I’m speaking up because I believe that the best disinfectant is fresh air and sunshine. I know while our story may sound extreme, it happens every day. I hope this attention will prevent these problems for others in the future.
We honestly disclosed our plans to every City department every step of the way. We secured approvals at each stage. We invested our life savings based on those approvals, only to have them reversed when it was time to open our doors.
Our Alderman and community support us. We have never deviated from our original description of our business activity. We kept our word, and continue to ask City officials to keep theirs.
Where do things stand now for us? We are waiting for our place on the agenda for the Zoning Board of Appeals. Ironic, given the Zoning Dept. approved our business use twice. But the Licensing Dept. managed to overturn a Zoning decision– Kinda crazy? You bet.
How can you help? send an email to email@example.com, or better yet, write a letter to the Mayor, and be sure to send us a copy. Here’s a sample letter.