The long-anticipated restaurant now named Que Pasa?, at 25th and M Streets, is ready to open but is being held up by the city. They are asking for your support: stop by and sign the petition, and contact the city to let them know of your support.
detail from original photo by creechdawg 4/25/07
John Sanchez, a neighborhood resident, has been working for over 2 years to convert the former low-end fish market into a sit-down restaurant serving food from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and South America. The labor and time spent are apparent in the quality of the renovation. The restaurant is ready to go, except that the city refuses to provide a Certificate of Occupancy due to what appears to be internal disagreements about parking.
As a sit-down restaurant, the business is required to have a certain number of parking spots available. To meet this requirement, Sanchez has arranged to rent parking spots from the city-owned EDI directly across M Street. This was an arrangment agreed to by the Mayor and approved unanimously by the City Council. As the restuarant will only be open evening and weekends, when demand is low at EDI, this should not be a problem.
The newish Commissioner of Buildings for the Department of Community Development, Art Dahlberg (scroll to the 2nd bio)(Dahlbead@ci.richmond.va.us, 646-6624), has apparently decided that this arrangement is illegal, and will not issue the Certificate of Occupancy.
Sanchez is asking that you stop by the restaurant and sign their petition, and to contact Dahlberg and Mayor Wilder (email@example.com, 646-7970) to register your support for the opening of the restaurant.