Yul Kwon Actually Fails at Something (Opening a Yogurt Shop)

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think 8Asians.com was a blog about Yul Kwon. Winner of Survivor this, possibly running for Government that. Between all that and his refined jaw line, is there anything Yul Kwon CAN’T do?

Open up on a frozen yogurt shop, apparently.

Accordingly to the San Francisco Chronicle, Yul and a couple of his buddies are trying to open up a Red Mango franchise (a copycat of Pinkberry, as previously discussed by John) in the trendy, picturesque North Beach district of San Francisco. Except for one thing: North Beach’s “formula retail” ordinance, which prohibits chain stores from coming into the neighborhood to preserve a “neighborhood’s unique character.”

[Marsha Garland, founder and executive director of the North Beach Chamber of Commerce] found that Red Mango had continued to add franchises in the time since Kwon’s group was granted a building permit. So by now – and even Young admits this – there are more than 11 locations across the country. Case closed, said the North Beach watchdogs.

“They got a permit and started building and then somebody came and pulled the permit,” said Ken Brownell of Blatteis & Schnur real estate, who handled the rental for Kwon’s group. “They’re shocked and I’m shocked.”

Without a permit, Kwon is stuck on Exile Island. His group can’t do any more building and the storefront sits empty, although rent is still due.

“Is this going to be tougher than ‘Survivor’?” asked Young. “Yul’s just going to bleed out all that ‘Survivor’ money.”

Ha ha, an Exile Island reference. He won Survivor. We get it.

Now most of the time, residents try to preserve a “neighborhood’s unique character” by trying to block out Starbucks, McDonalds and Wal-Marts – basically anything that would remind someone of the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area. But Red Mango is a chain that started out in South Korea in 2002, and would give the neighborhood some character, even if it is technically a chain restaurant with 11 stores. Or would it? With a lack of “Korean style” frozen yogurt chains in the Bay Area, why are they opening the chain in North Beach? Why not a similar hip-yet-gentrification-friendly neighborhood like the Mission or the Castro, or a neighborhood with high Asian Americans like the Richmond?

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About Ernie

I'm the creator of 8 Asians and one of the editors. While I'm a regular blogger to the site as well, think of my role as Barbara Walters on "The View," except without the weird white hair. During the day, I'm a Developer for a major Internet company and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I've also been writing in my blog, littleyellowdifferent.com, for seven years.
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