"It sounds absurd, but the definition of a meal - and whether two or three appetizers count as one - is at the core of a 318-page proposal by Supervisor Aaron Peskin. The idea isn't to argue the semantics of food, but to find a way to keep North Beach from being overrun by new bars and restaurants. The complex legislation would allow a restaurant or bar to replace one that's closed. But it would prevent new ones from moving into now-empty storefronts.
Although the details of the legislation seem needlessly complex, the proposal is really a reasonable way to encourage other types of retail business and keep the touristy area from being monopolized by eateries and watering holes."