Restaurant Denies Service to On-Duty Police Officers in California

Featured, National

Exterior view of the Hilda and Jesse restaurant on Union Street in San Francisco, CA. | Image by Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle via AP

Staff members at a San Francisco restaurant denied service to three uniformed police officers on December 4, 2021. The staff later commented on the restaurant’s Instagram page that the law enforcement officers’ weapons made them feel “uncomfortable.”

“At Hilda and Jesse, the restaurant is a safe space,” the post declared. “The presence of the officers {sic} weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do.”

The staff members stressed that the officers are welcome to come back, provided they are “off duty, out of uniform, and without their weapons.”

“This is not a political statement; we did what we thought was best for our staff.”

As reported by ABC 7 News, one of the co-owners of Hilda and Jesse, Rachel Sillcocks, stated that it had nothing to do with who they were, but it was what they were carrying.

“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 asked them to leave,” Sillcocks said.

San Francisco Police Chief William “Bill” Scott tweeted in response to the incident: “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.”

He added, “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.”

This incident occurred when crime is surging across the Bay Area. Some of the most notorious forms of crime in this metro area consist of organized groups raiding and looting retail stores. Several businesses in San Francisco’s Union Square have been compelled to board up after a series of mass looting incidents.

The restaurant’s co-owners later issued an apology in an Instagram post published on December 6, 2021. “We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident on Friday when we asked members of the San Francisco Police Department to leave our restaurant,” the co-owners said in their post on Instagram. “We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times. We hope this will be a teachable moment for us as we repair and continue to build bridges with the SFPD. These are stressful times, and we handled this badly.”

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