The old Wienerschnitzel building in the 1500 block of Park Street is back on the rental market again, with an Alameda woman's plans to open a barbecue take-out restaurant there abandoned.
"A little tiny place, so many headaches," said Joy Robinson, who put hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into refurbishing the 600 sq. ft. building in hopes of opening her new restaurant during the summer.
The closest Robinson got to opening was serving up samples at the Park Street Art & Wine Faire on July 31.
She cited high fees and long delays in the city approval process.
"The city just hasn't been too small-business friendly," Robinson told Alameda Patch in a phone interview Thursday. "A lot of obstacles. It just didn't work out."
She said homeless people who camped out on the property were also a problem, although not an insurmountable one.
Robinson, who grew up in Alameda and attended Notre Dame High School, had planned to serve "upscale barbecue," mainly to take-out customers but with some outdoor seating on site.
She had also hoped to barbecue outside the building, remain open after 10 p.m. and possibly offer occasional live music — things that would require a use permit in addition to the other city and county conditions, she said. That would have cost another $2,800, with no guarantee of approval, she said.
Fortunately Robinson has another job, overseeing food service at Fort Hunter Liggett in Jolon, Monterey Co.
"In some ways, it's a big weight off," she said.
Wienerschnizel, a hot dog franchise which occupied the distinctive structure since at least the 1970s, closed without fanfare earlier this year, and the building was vacant for several months before Robinson took it over.
Gallagher & Lindsey Realtors is now offering the building for a one-year lease. For information, call (510) 522-3322.
Small business owners: have you encountered many obstacles in the city approval process? Tell us in the comments section below or email Alameda Patch editor Dixie Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.