It’s easy to demonize Craig Yates for causing the closure of Chile Lindo on 16th, one of the neighborhood’s favorite empanada spots. After all, he and his attorney have been on a rampage around the area recently, suing over 30 local businesses for ADA violations (he’s even suing Turtle Tower). Furthermore, Paula Tejada and her empanadas have plenty of fans and supporters (who refer to her affectionately as “the Girl from Empanada”), owing to the deliciousness of her specialty and her friendly demeanor.
However, as SFoodie points out, wasn’t the Americans with Disabilities Act instituted in order to protect a certain (under-represented) group of people from discrimination? Yates obviously feels that he is being discriminated against by not being allowed to fit inside a restaurant like other customers. Just because he’s being a jerk about it doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s wrong. He views himself as a crusader for disabled rights. Tejada sees him as an opportunistic nuisance out to make a quick buck on the backs of small business owners.
It’s a much trickier issue than anyone initially anticipated. I don’t even know what to think anymore. I just wish she had installed a ramp at her place before this whole thing got out of control.