Restaurant owners backpedal, apologize after denying service to on-duty police officers
San Francisco restaurant co-owners responded to widespread backlash after they denied service to three on-duty SFPD officers by apologizing, citing “stressful times.”
“We are grateful for 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,” owners Rachel Sillcocks and Kristina Liedags Compton stated via a social media post.
Friday, uniformed on-duty officers were asked to leave the premises of the popular “Hilda and Jesse” eatery because the officers’ weapons made Sillcocks and Compton uncomfortable.
“The restaurant is a safe space. The presence of the officers’ weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do. We welcome them into the restaurant when they are off duty, out of uniform and without their weapons,” the restaurant announced on social media following the incident Friday.
“It’s not about the fact that we are anti-police,” Sillcocks elaborated. “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.”
William Scott, San Francisco police chief, responded to the incident as well, stating that the SFPD “stands for safety with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing.”
“How disrespectful and entitled of the business to treat people who risk their lives to protect us,” said one person. “It’s a bit heartbreaking actually.”
“So bummed this happened in my neighborhood,” another person agreed. “Never had the food at this new restaurant. But it could not possibly be good enough to cover the bad taste this leaves.”
Others disagreed, however. “It’s her restaurant she can do what she wants. Who wants to be eating lunch next to someone with a weapon,” someone else commented.
Comments have since been disabled on both Instagram posts about the incident made by the restaurant.
Online review platform Yelp also announced they have temporarily suspended the ability for people to post reviews on Hilda and Jesse.
“This business recently received increased public attention, which often means people come to this page to post their views on the news. While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to this incident, we’ve temporarily disabled the posting of content to this page as we work to investigate the content you see here reflects actual consumer experiences rather than the recent events,” the announcement reads.