Frank Tofanelli is the owner of Flapjacks restaurant on El Camino just east of Fulton. He is a very nice guy, a good boss of his 27 employees, and a long-time supporter/fund-raiser for the community. As most of us know, his building was destroyed by fire in June 2016. Frank has been attempting to get it rebuilt -- faithfully, in the original mid-20th-century style -- for what seems like an eternity. Along the way he opened a temporary replacement site on Arden near Howe, with a lease timed to what he thought would be appropriate for the rebuilding effort, December 31, 2017. But the project has dragged on for months after the temporary lease was up. It is now looking like at least July 2018 before Flapjacks can re-open on El Camino.
Long story short, it's been a nightmare for Frank and his employees. For example, the County's sewer people wanted him to pay for a new sewer connection even though there was nothing wrong with the sewer connection he's had for years and years. And then there is the frustrating minefield of building permits. Given the way the County routinely rips down barriers and bends rules to expedite things for developers and corporations, you would have thought the County would have treated this project, one the community cares about, with some sense of urgency. But you would be wrong. Says Frank in a recent email note to his customers:
"Folks it looks like we might get the permits we need this week to finish the restaurant, but it has been such a battle. I thought the County would have gone out of their way to help get everyone back to work, but that wasn’t the case. The bottom line is they don’t really care. It makes me think that maybe we should incorporate Arden-Arcade and make it its own city. I hate to say it, but our area has gone down hill over the years and I think we are the only ones that can bring it back. Several years ago we tried and lost in the election. The problem is there is a lot of money involved with all the car dealers and sales tax and the County doesn’t want to lose it, so they made it very difficult for us and brought out some big guns to stop it. I just think we need to take control and I think we can do a much better job. Think about it."Frank Tofanelli, owner of Flapjacks restaurant
That's right, another small business has figured out we need a municipal government that cares about, and prioritizes, the local economy. We don't have that now. In the meantime, though, let's all try to show Frank and his employees some love by going to his other restaurant, Country Waffles at 6986 Sunrise Blvd. in Citrus Heights. The phone number there is (916) 722-0465. Similar great menu and service as Flapjacks for breakfast and lunch. And when Flapjacks finally re-opens, please go there often to help them get back on their feet.