A San Francisco restaurant has apologized after its staff denied service to three armed police officers, claiming that their weapons made its non-white guests feel threatned.
The three officers were asked to leave ‘Hilda and Jesse’ on Friday – a restaurant located on San Francisco’s upmarket Union Street – with the owners alleging its staff “felt uncomfortable with the presence of their multiple weapons” after seating the officers.
“Our restaurant is a safe space – particularly for queer and bipoc individuals,” said co-owner Rachel Sillcocks in a statement. “We would happily welcome them off duty, out of uniform and without weapons. We’re sorry the decision upset you. We understand your perspective and we hope you’ll understand ours.”
The restaurant backtracked on Sunday, however, issuing an apology after its reviews were swarmed on Google and Yelp, resulting in a 1.4 and 1 star average rating respectively.
“We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident on Friday,” said Sillcocks and fellow co-owner Kristina Liedags Compton. “We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times.”
The two owners expressed their hope that the restaurant could “repair and continue to build bridges with the SFPD,” concluding, “These are stressful times, and we handled this badly.”
In his own statement, SFPD Chief William Scott revealed that the department asks its officers “to support local businesses and get to know those they’re sworn to safeguard.”
“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,” Chief Scott wrote before the restaurant issued its apology.