San Francisco cops asked to leave restaurant – weapons made staff feel uncomfortable

Three uniformed San Francisco police officers tried to have a meal at a local eatery Friday. What happened next caused the newly opened restaurant to receive an abundance of negative comments on Yelp and Google.

Hilda and Jesse, an all-day brunch restaurant that opened Nov. 1, was visited by the three officers who were in uniform and armed. The staff seated them and then a decision was made to deny them service. Why? Because they were armed with “multiple weapons.” Staffers decided they felt uncomfortable in the presence of police weapons and “politely” asked them to leave the premises. A co-owner of the restaurant said that they do not allow weapons into the restaurant and they are creating a safe place.

A post on the restaurant’s Instagram account explained they respect the San Francisco police and welcome them back when they are off-duty, out of uniform, and unarmed. So, do they respect cops as long as they don’t look like cops?

We respect the SFPD and what they do to support our community, however the presence of their weapons in the restaurant made us uncomfortable. This is not a political statement, we did what we thought was best for our staff.

Rachel Sillcocks, the restaurant’s co-owner and chef, spoke to a local news station. She said it’s not an anti-cop sentiment, it’s an anti-gun sentiment.

“It’s not about the fact that we are anti-police,” Sillcocks told the station.

“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.”

Needless to say, the response on social media came quickly and it wasn’t good for the restaurant. SFPD Chief William Scott.responded with a Twitter thread of his own.

The three officers were carrying out the department’s policy – supporting local businesses and getting to know the people they protect. This business just opened on November 1 so you would think that it would be happy to have the support of local police, if, in fact, they are supportive of the police department. Why are the owners allowing snowflake staffers to make such potentially harmful business decisions anyway? An armed police officer in uniform is not the same as a civilian carrying a holstered gun. What do the scared staff do when walking on the street and coming upon a uniformed police officer? Good Lord. A gun is a part of their uniform, so to speak. But, if a police officer essentially hides the fact that he or she is a cop, they are welcome in the restaurant.

That happened on Friday. By Saturday night, the damage done was clear.

By Saturday evening, Hilda and Jesse, located at 701 Union St., had been inundated with negative reviews on both Yelp and Google. It currently has one star and over 400 reviews on Yelp; the company normally puts a disclaimer on businesses receiving unusually high numbers of reviews due to controversy, but as of Sunday morning, that banner was not added.

At the very least, the cops deserve an apology. The non-apology of “sorry the decision upset you” doesn’t cut it. Why did the co-owner, Stanley Roberts, bring up “queer and bipoc individuals” in his explanation on social media? Does it curry favor with minority populations to treat them as weak and unable to cope with the sight of a gun? A cop carrying a holstered gun isn’t an unusual sight.

Enjoy the Yelp reviews, Hilda and Jesse. What a lousy way to start off a new business.

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