Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ph: Asking Permission

Stacks of papers to file with the City.

I'm pretty sure I've lamented this before, but after building four facilities prior to project hampden, this one has by far been the most difficult. Filled with every kind of delay, problem and obstacle that one could face when opening a new shop - save for historical register sites.

This week is (what I hope will be) the final push towards opening. All work has been completed, everything is in order, the menu and HACCP plan has been approved, I'm just hoping it goes smoothly.

Food operators fear this window.

But since this is Baltimore City, they want to throw a few more obstacles at you. With seemingly reams of paper in hand, I make my way through the state and city bureaucracy in an attempt to make it happen. Oddly, the City Health Department will not accept a corporate Certificate of Good Standing issued by the state. They want to see a certified copy of the actual corporate filing. Luckily, the people at the state are friendly and accommodating, and with the help of a sympathetic messenger, I've secured my copies and am on my way.

The City wants to see not only corporate filings but copies of the lease agreement, pest control contract, approved permits and more before they will issue a Food Permit. But once you've got all those in hand, all it takes is another $350 and you're on your way. Finally.

I would start dancing in the streets with my eyes filled with tears of joy, if only I didn't know that we still have occupancy inspection, occupancy permit and a trader's license application to endure first.

I can hardly believe we got it.