Restaurant Owner Succeeds In Blocking JapaCurry Truck

rowe.jpeg
Ted R./Yelp
Alison Rowe.
Update, 4:30 p.m.: Alison Rowe says it was a coincidence that her car was blocking JapaCurry's two spaces, says she's merely one of 20 local brick-and-mortars who object to food trucks in the neighborhood.

Note: The original version of this post included a photo of Rowe's car, with the license number visible. We removed it after Rowe expressed concern that she was receiving threats of vandalism.

Things are getting messier in JapaCurry's struggle to do business in two spots it has permits for in the FiDi. You'll recall that Harvest and Rowe cafe owner Alison Rowe vowed to keep the JapaCurry truck from doing business on Second Street, promising to block his truck. It appears Rowe has made good on that threat, at least last Thursday, parking her car in the space JapaCurry has a permit for on Mission and New Montgomery streets.

JapaCurry owner Jay Hamada tells SFoodie that last week on Jan. 27, his crew arrived at his parking space on Mission just after 9 a.m. (the time he's legally allowed to begin parking there) only to find a four-wheel-drive vehicle in the spot. At about 10:40, a woman arrived to pump more quarters in the meter, which has a one-hour limit. "My worker said to her, 'How long are you going to stay?'" Hamada says. "She said she didn't know, and when my worker told her they had to park there, she hesitated and then goes, 'Sorry, I can't help you,' and then puts lots of coins in the meter and hurries away." Best case scenario, JapaCurry wouldn't be able to occupy the spot until 11:40. So instead, Hamada ordered his crew to drive the van to 8000 Marina in Brisbane for lunch.

Was the woman Alison Rowe? Yesterday, SFoodie went to 75 Second St. ― the space JapaCurry is allowed to sell on Mondays and Tuesdays ― at about 9:30 a.m., just in time to see Alison Rowe parking the same vehicle, with the same license plates, we spotted on Second Street. Busted. We left Rowe a phone message earlier today asking to explain why she happened to be blocking JapaCurry's space on Mission last week. Read our interview with Rowe here.

Does Rowe have a right to keep JapaCurry off the street where she's done business since 2003? Not according to the law that applied when JapaCurry received its permits from the S.F.P.D. (New mobile food vending rules, which take effect this month, call for notification of existing business and public hearings to raise concerns about competition and other issues.) And she certainly doesn't have the right to block JapaCurry from Mission and New Montgomery, around a corner and nearly 600 feet from Harvest and Rowe.

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JapaCurry/Twitter
No curry for you: JapaCurry was forced to find a new place to sell last Thursday.
​It's costing Hamada money not being able to sell where the law says he has a right to. When JapaCurry and its crew of five has parked on Mission Street, it's sold about 200 meals at lunch. In Brisbane or South San Francisco, where JapaCurry has been parking Mondays and Tuesdays until Hamada has ― voluntarily, by the way ― agreed to find a new spot to replace Second Street, JapaCurry is only able to sell half that many lunches.

Has Alison Rowe won? So far, yes, though Hamada says he'll try for Mission Street again tomorrow. And so far, the city has failed to help Hamada and Rowe find a solution. We hope to report more on the city's role later today.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com
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49 comments
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truckrentals
truckrentals

just for good reason , well i think this part can consider as a good part to know all about matters for improvement,.

truckrental
truckrental

for improvement matter , we must take the better place to stay in . where people can surely have what we are being provided for good.

hezelcrowns
hezelcrowns

make things possible , for good reason and for in a quality matters for sure,.

movingtruckrental
movingtruckrental

to overview this simple matter , we should not take any response as negative, we must have to be a part ,, very simple .. part for improving life.

SVV
SVV

Nice work John. This is what journalism is all about.

Kiel
Kiel

H&R can fail as a business and I hope that happens. Here's to seeing you go deeply into the red.Your classless and childish behavior shows me that H&R is something more akin to a Chucky Cheeses and Chucky's got better food and isn't so stuck up upon themselves.

MeowMeow
MeowMeow

I have eaten and H&R twice and each time I have gotten sick to my stomach. Maybe bad coincidence, but Im not happy paying $10 for a wonderful illness and salad. This stunt of blocking parking for a food that is completely opposite of H&R has convinced me that I will never eat there again. I would rather eat my $2 frozen weight watcher meal.

Angry
Angry

Typical liberal. I will make sure to let everyone I know never to patronize Alison Rowe. What happened to free enterprise. There are laws that prohibit unfairness and I don't know if this is a loading zone or not but a commercial plate does not give you the right to park in a yellow zone which is reserved for "loading or unloading of freight and or passengers" only. Look it up in the vehicle code. This is why I never shop or go to San Francisco.

oh please
oh please

every business owner in sf has to make deliveries, goes to get supplies etc. give the woman a break. she should be able to park, as she always has. stop this nonsense. it's not productive.

Dogpatchsf
Dogpatchsf

I'm assuming that you are not a shill since it would have been too obvious...

foodtruckatty
foodtruckatty

The aggrieved trucker should think about bringing a Cartwright Act claim against Ms. Rowe. Treble damages. Perhaps an unfair business practice injunction is also in order.

Beach St Sandwiches
Beach St Sandwiches

people need to rmbr that good food, good competition elevates everyone's game, which is better for eaters and restauranteurs alike.

Media Designer
Media Designer

How good could the food at Harvest and Rowe possibly be, if the owners need to resort to such classless and tacky measures to preserve business? I see a law suit in her future - compensation for lost business.

heather
heather

I've written Ms. Rowe an email letting her know that I'll never again frequent her restaurant (though to be fair, I've only eaten there once, in 2007, and it was mediocre and overpriced) because her shenanigans are RIDICULOUS. What is she, 14?

GuestAgain
GuestAgain

If JapaCurry (which I've been following with keen interest) was open for business, I might have stopped in to try H&R despite the reviews. No JapaCurry means I'm not going out of my way. Blocking JapaCurry means I tell everyone else to avoid H&R. If you can't stand the heat from a bit of (wildly dissimilar) competition, get out of the kitchen.

sfherc
sfherc

She's breaking the law. Her car should be towed after being ticketed MUKTIPLE times. I understand that she has expenses and as someone who supports merchants I'm all for fair competition. However, she just lost a potential customer (and anyone else who follows me on Twitter and my friends on FB and Yelp. If she was smart, she could've met with the truck's owner, worked something out and it may've helped her business. Just another illustration of how some people make a potential advantage into a big mess.

Grog
Grog

H&R just lost a customer. I'm not a customer of JapaCurry, but I will avoid H&R now.

vitriolix
vitriolix

I work right across the street from this, we saw what must be part of this drama unfolding last week. We were standing in line to get some Japacurry and the police arrived saying there had been an "anonymous complaint". the cops were cool about it, they checked he had his papers in order and shook his hand and left. I guess that is when Alison decided to go vigelante.

Pretty disgusting behavior.

I eat in a cycle of every (good) eatery in the neighborhood, usually talking up to 6 workmate into trying out new places with me. There is now one place I will *never* visit, Harvest and Rowe. Was it worth it, Alison?

putitupmike
putitupmike

I am not gonna take sides as I don't eat at either place, but give me a break. The landline restaurant pays PG and E, water, garbage, rent, salaries, and about a hundred different level of taxes to operate there. The truck pays meter costs, DMV registration, permit cost, maybe business taxes which are far below the woman's cost. Little sympathy for a small business owner in these tough times too much to ask?

Guy
Guy

There's nothing to prevent Alison Rowe from moving her brick and mortar restaurant onto four wheels. She chose and chooses to pay what you claim she pays.

ssc
ssc

with a stanford mba, maybe she should have figured that out

Clarissa
Clarissa

It also offers an extremely limited menu, no seating, and long lines. There's a tradeoff, and I just don't think the unfair competition that you and she perceive is there. ("Maybe" business taxes? Uh ... yeah.)

vitriolix
vitriolix

Maybe she should move her business to a truck...

Guest2
Guest2

Apples and oranges. or overpriced organic salad and rich, decadent curry, as the case may be -- this truck is no more her competitor than I am. She needs to look at the lines at Mixt Greens to figure out where her business went.

Also: Any sympathy I had for her went out the window when I saw the evidence of her shenanigans. If she doesn't like it, take it up with the permitting agencies, but act like a scumbag.

Chaki Time
Chaki Time

awwwwww poooooooorrrrr mediocre terrible restaurant

Catsharing
Catsharing

Harvest & Rowe isn't even good food...jeez...Come over to Civic Center Plaza, japaCurry!!

Guest5
Guest5

I do not understand what she has against poor JapaCurry just trying to make a living. If he is volunteering to go elsewhere in the FiDi why would she block his other spot? If it is not directly in front of H&R on 2nd street then it is not her business. What a big b****! I work on 2nd and will never go to H&R again.

Wangston
Wangston

Please leave a 1-star yelp review for harvest and rowe linking back to this page

Jen D.
Jen D.

Wangston - Many of us here at Yelp HQ are appalled by what the owner of Harvest and Rowe did, but please don't encourage people to write fake reviews based on this alone. Those reviews will be flagged and removed.

-Jen D., Yelp HQ

Eric
Eric

Why is the behavior of the owner not a legitimate concern for a review?

Jen D.
Jen D.

Reviews should be written in order to share your first-hand experience with a business and its services. If you write a 1 star review for a business based on an article you read, that review has nothing to do with actually visiting a location and experience good or bad service. Of course, no one is stopping you from writing a review based on this or any other article, but as an avid user and employee of Yelp, I am just stating the facts.

paddlergirl
paddlergirl

The spot that they show in the picture is on New Montgomery, not on Mission. Not that this excuses it, but her business is right there behind her in the picture, not around the corner like stated in the article. Still a crappy thing to do.

Anonymous
Anonymous

That's because, as the article states, she did it at more than one location.

Cern
Cern

i see lots of fraudulent phone, fax and internet orders with lunchtime delivery request to wrong addresses in Harvest and Rowes' future.

Psyonic_7
Psyonic_7

have the bitch towed?

Wangster48
Wangster48

Agreeed...isn't the yelllow meter for loading/unloading only until 6pm?

Guest2
Guest2

but if you have a commercial vehicle (and yes, pickup trucks count) then you can "load" in the metered space for the full length of the time limit. DPT still should ticket her at the end of the hour, though.

SeanaLyn
SeanaLyn

Why isnt the city ticketing Harvest and Rowe for being parked over an hour in a 1 hour zone?!? Come on SF, you love ticketing cars so ticket them!

And Harvest and Rowe, being catty isnt going to help your already shitty image. Try acting like adults instead of petty children. Oh and while youre at it, maybe try making your food halfway decent and people will actually eat there ;)

niffyat
niffyat

Wow. The owner of H&R better comment on this soon. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but her silence is making her look quite guilty. Anyway, I prefer curry over the fare at H&R, so she needs to stop being a jerk D:<

niffyat
niffyat

She finally did respond (http://blogs.sfweekly.com/food... to this article... but my opinion of her has worsened because she is saying her blocking JapaCurry was a coincidence, even though she told J. Hamada she'd block his truck and called the police on him (http://blogs.sfweekly.com/food... I understand she's trying to protect her business, but two things 1) the types of food they're serving are completely different, so I don't see how him selling curry takes away her business and B) it seems many people don't like the quality and price of her food ( judging from the Yelp reviews from before today's additions), which seems to be more likely to damage her business than a curry truck that is there twice a week.

Mary
Mary

I agree that she needs to comment. She may see a steady downturn in business as more people find out about this story.

risamay
risamay

I used to work in that neighborhood, and gave Rowe's restaurant a go once or twice. Overpriced and boring. So, not that she ever had my business, but - she'll likely lose business over this catty move, as she should.

matthewmaurice
matthewmaurice

As my good friend John once said, "Instant Karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you right on the head." It's one thing for Rowe to protect her business, but illegally parking your car to prevent someone from legally doing what they've been permitted to do is simply wrong.

Clarissa
Clarissa

If things are as represented here, I think it's absurd. :/ If I'm in the mood for standing outside and buying takeaway Japanese curry, I'm not in the mood for buying cafe food indoors--AND vice versa! After the first few days, there wouldn't be a negative impact on her business (if there's one to start out with). If Japacurry has the lines that a lot of other food trucks get, she might even get spillover from people who don't like curry or don't want to wait. Sigh.

njudah
njudah

The headline should read "MEDIOCRE restaurant owner...."

Christopher Liberti
Christopher Liberti

Only way this wack job will get the message is if we as consumers protest in front of her restaurant and hopefully drive away her clientele. i am a foodie and love all of SF food and I will not step foot into this wackjob's restaurant after this crap. i support fine dining and food trucks and they coexist elsewhere in this city.

Guest2
Guest2

Scummy behavior on the part of the H&R owner. If she's trying to preserve her business with this BS, she should know at least one regular customer (me) will be taking her business elsewhere after seeing this report.

Guest
Guest

Have her ticketed for violating the time regulation, every hour she stays over should be another ticket. Then we'll see how committed she really is to her cause.

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