Owners of the San Luis Obispo restaurant The Rib Line Catering will appeal to a committee of the SLO Downtown Association against a decision that could result in the business losing its space at Thursday Night Promotions, more commonly known as Farmers’ Market.
As a regular vendor at the market for the past 3-1/2 years, according to Rib Line Owner and Chef Brian Appiano, the potential loss of the space could result in a serious hit to the business. Appiano estimated that Rib Line pulls in between $3,000 and $7,000 per market night.
But in an email dated Dec. 19, Appiano said the Downtown Association informed him that it intended to revoke the business’s permit to set up a booth. According to Appiano, the issue stemmed from the last farmers’ market before the Christmas holiday, when a Rib Line driver packed up the booth and left about 10 minutes before the permitted timeframe. Appiano said he didn’t condone the driver leaving early, but added that she did so because the crowds had already dispersed about 30 minutes before the market was scheduled to shut down.
“Our whole thing is [that] it’s the first time that we’ve been notified about it,” Appiano said. “That’s not something to kick us out of farmers’ for.”
Rib Line is appealing to keep its slot, and the appeal is scheduled to go before the Downtown Association Thursday Night Promotions Committee on Jan. 14 at 8 a.m. at the Downtown Association office in SLO.
Thursday Night Promotions Coordinator Jill Bilich said Rib Line hasn’t yet lost its spot, adding that the final decision rests with the committee members. She declined to comment further on specifics.
“Right now, it’s a completely private issue,” Bilich said. “It’s something we want to keep internal.”
The initial comment portion of the committee meeting is open to the public, she added.
Bilich said the Downtown Association doesn’t often suspend or revoke a vendor’s license, but when any vendor breaks the association’s rules and regulations, it can lose its space.
“Our rules and regulations are in place to keep the community safe and to keep the event running smoothly,” she said.