Restaurant Apologizes for Asking Cops to Leave

San Francisco eatery was hit with major backlash after the incident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2021 2:31 AM CST
Restaurant Asks Cops to Leave, Gets Major Backlash
San Francisco   (Getty Images / yhelfman)

A San Francisco restaurant initially stood behind its decision to ask police officers to leave—but after some intense backlash, it is now apologizing. Hilda and Jesse, located in the North Beach neighborhood, posted on Instagram Saturday about the incident, saying that the day prior, staffers were uncomfortable with the presence of "multiple weapons" after uniformed and armed officers sat down to eat, NBC Bay Area reports. The post, which said the move was not a political statement, said officers were welcome to return while "off duty, out of uniform, and without their weapons." The restaurant also said separately that it is a "safe space—particularly for queer and BIPOC individuals." Uproar followed in the form of many one-star reviews on Yelp and other websites, though some on social media took the restaurant's side.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association also issued a statement saying the officers had been discriminated against and treated "without any tact or class," while the police chief said he found the decision "discouraging and personally disappointing." And then came another Instagram post from the co-owners of the eatery on Sunday after meeting with officers Saturday. This time, they said they had "made a mistake" and apologized for the "unfortunate incident," which they said was "handled ... badly." They said they appreciate the San Francisco Police Department and are working to repair their relationship with the department and "build bridges," and are looking upon the incident as a "teachable moment." KTVU reports that despite the outcry, business appeared "brisk" for Sunday brunch and the restaurant was "full of customers." (More San Francisco stories.)

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