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San Francisco Restaurant Owners Apologize After Refusing to Serve Police

Staffmembers said firearms made them feel uncomfortable

A San Francisco restaurant, Hilda and Jesse, recently refused to serve local police officers because they are not comfortable with firearms in their establishment. 

Three San Francisco police officers sat down for a meal on Dec. 3 at the all-day breakfast restaurant. The officers were in uniform and carrying their firearms, as is standard of officers on duty. 

This prompted staff members of the restaurant to say they “felt uncomfortable with the presence of their multiple weapons,” whereupon the staff and co-owners of the restaurant asked the officers to leave. They shared their side of the story on Instagram on Saturday.

The request sparked lots of widespread attention, with the San Francisco police chief criticizing the move and hundreds of people leaving negative ratings on the restaurant’s Yelp page.

The police chief, William Scott, said in a statement on Twitter: “The San Francisco Police Department stands for safety with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing. I believe the vast majority of San Franciscans welcome their police officers, who deserve to know that they are appreciated for the difficult job we ask them to do — in their uniforms — to keep our neighborhoods and businesses safe.”

After the incident drew much attention on Friday, the owners of the restaurant doubled down on their decision and actions with a widely circulated statement on social media. 

“Our restaurant is a safe space – particularly for queer and bipoc individuals,” the statement began. “We would happily welcome [the officers] off duty, out of uniform and without weapons.”

One of the owners of Hilda & Jesse explained her discomfort with firearms in an exclusive interview with ABC 7 in San Francisco:

“It’s not about the fact that we are anti-police. It is about the fact that we do not allow weapons in our restaurant. We were uncomfortable, and we asked them to leave. It has nothing to do that they were officers. It has everything to do that they were carrying guns.”

Late Sunday, the co-owners took to Instagram to issue a peace offering, admitting they may have made a mistake, and will use this as a teachable moment. 


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