San Francisco Restaurant Defies California’s Foie Gras Ban

The eatery says it’s not flouting any laws—because it’s on federal land.

California banned foie gras, or fatty duck liver, starting July 1. One Bay Area restaurant is choosing to celebrate the French delicacy anyway. (Photo: Jeff Kauck via Getty Images)

Jul 10, 2012
Kelly Zhou has written on a variety of topics for TakePart, predominantly politics, education, and wildlife.

One restaurant in San Francisco has found a way to get around the recently implemented foie gras ban in California with a clever technicality: The venue is on federal land, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Presidio Social Club is located in the Presidio, a former U.S. Army outpost that became a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1994. Because the land is federally owned, restaurant owners claim  the state’s law prohibiting foie gras doesn’t apply.

MORE: Debate Rages Over California Foie Gras Ban (VIDEO)

Foie gras, which is fattened duck liver, was banned in a law passed in 2004 because animal advocates charge that the practice of force-feeding the birds amounts to animal cruelty. To give chefs and industry businesses time to adjust, the legislation only went into effect this year, on July 1.

In recent months, chefs and others have publicly protested the law, claiming it will create a black market for the now-illegal delicacy and even filing a lawsuit to contest the law’s constitutionality.

But Presidio’s owner, Ray Tang, has decided to stick his tongue out at the ban, announcing that foie gras sliders will grace the menu as an everyday item.

“We’re not trying to exploit a loophole or out to break the law,” Tang, owner of the American comfort food-style restaurant, told the San Francisco Chronicle. He contends the state law simply doesn’t apply because of the restaurant’s location.

Pro or con, the debate continues. Would you support a restaurant that serves foie gras? Let us know in the comments.

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