Thursday, March 13, 2008

Enforcing the law

AA BBQ along Salinas Drive in Cebu City was a favorite for people who wanted good food at a very affordable price. Customers would pick out fresh seafood or meat, put it on a tray and pass it on to the staff for cooking, then proceed to take a seat at a table and order rice. The trouble is that the restaurant's facade hugged the edge of the road, hardly giving up any space for a sidewalk, much less any space for parking. Customers with vehicles were forced to park their cars along the curb, completely ignoring the "No stopping" signs and obstructing an entire lane of the 4-lane road.

In early February, the city government served a closure order to AA BBQ (along with three other nearby restaurants) for failing to provide parking spaces as required by the city's zoning ordinance. It seems that a few months earlier a "concerned taxpayer" had complained to the city government's website about the traffic in the area.

Almost immediately after the restaurant was ordered shut down, work got started on renovating the restaurant, tearing down the building's facade and moving it back to accomodate parking. Construction was impressively fast... I passed by the place yesterday, and it looks like it's just about ready to open any day now.

What I like about this is how everyone did their part, as they should, to get the problem solved. There was a business violating the city's zoning ordinances, a concerned citizen calling the government's attention, the government taking action on the problem, and the offending business correcting its violation. This is the way it should be done, and everyone is better off because of it. It's a happy ending for everyone involved. Isn't it nice when things just work?


  1. I noticed this restaurant last Saturday while doing our daytour of Cebu.

    Incidentally my wife was looking for some "sutukil" for us to try out but we decided to eat at CnT Lechon in front of SM Cebu.

    There was some confusion as to what "sutukil" was -- my wife thought it was this *one* restaurant, but I immediately noticed that it was actually a kind of genre as a lot of restaurants boasted they were the best sutukil in town.

    Maybe we'll try out AA BBQ next time we're around Cebu. :)

  2. It's not a fancy place, but the food is good and cheap without the place itself feeling cheap.

  3. hi mike, did your cousin antonio gonzalez graduate from nursing already? he's my idol in mixed martia l arts..

  4. hey it's jon, my ex-officemate :D hi jon!

    anyway, things will work if the local government is corrupt free. Sometimes business men get away with violations through "gifts" and government connections. Yeah, I'm a bit pessimistic, sorry man. :P

    If that situation happens here, St. Francis Square, Metrowalk, GH and other pirate hubs should have been closed already.

    Such a utopia man, like you, I'm wishing for a place that never exists.

    Anyway, treat me to a BBQ soon if we visit Cebu. :P

  5. Paul: He graduated just today. :)