Problems Continue to Park Themselves at Merritt Bakery's Door

By Sajid Farooq
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM PDT
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Problems Continue to Park Themselves at Merritt Bakery's Door

Edgeplot on Flickr

Merritt Bakery is in trouble.

The problems continue to mount for Oakland's Merritt Bakery. Technically they continue to park.

The 60-year-old bakery at the foot of Lake Merritt just received a second six figure hand out from the city in January but a parking problem not addressed at the time has put the restaurant's future in jeopardy once again.

Seven months ago, bakery co-owner Charles Griffis warned that a $150,000 bailout package would not be enough to keep the institution afloat without addressing the parking problems that came along with a city approved expansion of the neighboring Lucky's supermarket.

The majority of Griffis' customers are elderly people and he that if they can't find parking, they won't stop to do some shopping.

The Oakland Tribune reports the supermarket regularly violates several city requirements such as big rig deli every trucks blocking off spaces and spillover shoppers parking in spots designated specifically for Merritt Bakery customers.

But city officials say there is more than one roadblock standing in the way of bakery's return to sweeter times.

An independent audit commission by the city council suggests the bakery needs to lower its prices and expand its menu of comfort foods to lure customers back.

The bakery is an estimated $800,000 in debt. It was recently forced to reduce its staff from 110 employees to 49 and the paper reports its rent has more than doubled in recent years from $7,000 a month to $16,700.
 

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