Some restaurants in San Francisco have been slapped with ADA lawsuits. Many restaurant owners were neglecting to make their restaurants accessible to their customers in wheelchairs as required by federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
The City of San Francisco enforces regulations that require restaurants to meet these ADA requirements. If there is a step you need to take before entering the restaurant, you are required to install or build a ramp. I thought it is great that San Francisco wants to make everywhere accessible to everyone.
When I was taking a tour of a restaurant in a prime location, I observed tiny space on the main floor which could seat perhaps 6 people with a staircase leading to the main dining room that seat 30 people comfortably. It did not have provision or access for wheelchair users. If you want to use the restroom, you need to take the step. What about the restaurant’s customers in wheelchairs? The kitchen is split into 2 rooms with the cooking room located upstairs, and the prep room downstairs.
My immediate response was that it wouldn't do us any good because if it was me, I couldn't tolerate carrying food upstairs and downstairs. It immediately raised a red flag. I began to see issues related to Worker's Compensation. I asked the seller about these conditions, and he responded that he had no complaints since he ran his restaurant with a "grandfather" clause which presents a loophole.
I recalled from my conversation with Darren Weiss, the deaf restaurateur in Manhattan Beach, in sharing his previous experience with a restaurant he owned before opening Darren's which was a two- floor building that was inconvenient for his staff. He didn't want to repeat that experience at his next restaurant. I took his advice to heart.
It would be ironical if I went ahead and purchased that multi-level restaurant when I am an ADA advocate! I told the seller I wouldn't consider his restaurant because it is not ADA friendly. I wanted all customers to have the equal access to Mozzeria.