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Owner of Odd Cookie in downtown Sacramento blames city for closure

Permit battle leads to downtown Sacramento business closure
Permit battle leads to downtown Sacramento business closure 02:20

SACRAMENTO – Another downtown Sacramento small business is closing up shop. This time, the owner of Odd Cookie said the city bureaucracy has left her feeling burned.

The city said it's tried to help, not hurt.

Odd Cookie is located along 9th street where there are already a lot of boarded-up businesses. Now this one is closing, too.

Owner Anna Rodriguez said it was her dream to own this business, which has crumbled apart. The cookies were her recipe for success.

"We've definitely been bullied to the point of closure," she said.

Rodriguez blames Sacramento city bureaucracy for making her dream business a bust. Her bakery includes a bar and restaurant and she said live music is her only way to attract nightlife.

She's attempted to get a required city-issued entertainment permit for months.

"So we paid for the permit, we did all the paperwork. I mean, they did every kind of inspection here you can imagine," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez took out loans to upgrade her venue. Then she says the city gave her another surprise.

"We were told five months after doing all of this that we did not have the right kind of liquor license to ever get this type of permit," she said.

There are 80 businesses across Sacramento that have successfully received entertainment permits. The police department's so-called e-team enforces them.

"I understand this is probably a really hard time for everybody affiliated with that business," said Councilmember Katie Valenzuela.

Valenzuela represents the downtown core and defends the city process.

"There is no substitute for the business owner taking those steps," she said. "And it's horrible to see any business close anywhere in the city, but in the end, we can't do it for them."

The divide between this owner and the city has now led to another downtown Sacramento business closing.

"We're at a point of no return," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez will close up Odd Cookie at the end of the month.

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