'A mistake': Restaurant apologizes for turning away 3 SFPD officers

Staff had asked officers to leave, saying they were 'uncomfortable' with the officers' service weapons

By Matthew Tom
SFGate, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — The restaurant Hilda and Jesse has apologized for refusing to serve three uniformed and armed San Francisco police officers on Friday.

"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," co-owners Rachel Sillcocks and Kristina Liedags Compton wrote in statement posted to Instagram Sunday afternoon. "We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times."

Yelp has added a disclaimer to Hilda and Jesse's page, saying the page is being monitored by its support team, after a bombardment of negative reviews earned the restaurant a one-star rating.

EARLIER COVERAGE: A restaurant in North Beach refused to serve three uniformed and armed San Francisco police officers on Friday, because staff felt "uncomfortable with the presence of their multiple weapons."

Staff "politely asked" the officers to leave, according to an Instagram post from the Hilda and Jesse, an all-day brunch eatery that opened its doors on Nov. 1.

"We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do," the post reads. "We welcome them into the restaurant when they are off duty, out of uniform, and without their weapons."

The statement also added that "this is not a political statement, we did what we thought was best for our staff."

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott tweeted a response on Saturday evening: " 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."

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.

NEXT: Refusal of restaurant service: How to take the high road after a low blow

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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