San Francisco Restaurant That Refused To Serve Cops Hit With Yelp Reviews

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Damir Mujezinovic

Three San Francisco, California police officers sat down for a meal on Friday at Hilda and Jesse, a popular breakfast restaurant, but were refused service.

Restaurant staff told the cops -- who were uniformed and armed -- that they "felt uncomfortable with the presence of their multiple weapons" and "politely asked" them to leave, according to the restaurant.

The incident attracted nationwide attention. The San Francisco Police Department issued several statements in response, while Yelp reviewers left hundreds of one-star reviews for Hilda and Jesse.

Read more below.

SF Police Department

As The New York Times reported, police chief William Scott said in a statement issued on Saturday that "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," Scott stated.


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Restaurant Doubles Down

That same day, the restaurant doubled down, saying that cops were not served because "we did what we thought was best for our staff."

The restaurant added that it will always welcome San Francisco police officers "when they are off duty, out of uniform, and without their weapons."

"Our restaurant is a safe space -- particularly for queer and bipoc individuals. Furthermore, the fact that they were in uniform with multiple weapons on them made our staff uncomfortable, and potentially other guests," said Rachel Sillcocks, one of the owners of Hilda and Jesse.


On Sunday, however, Hilda and Jesse backtracked.

Sillcocks and the other owner, Kristina Liedags Compton, issued a lengthy statement on Instagram in which they apologized for the incident.

"We hope this will be a teachable moment for us as we repair and continue to build bridges with the SFPD," Sillcocks and Liedags said, conceding that they "handled this badly."

In an interview, Sillcocks attempted to clarify the restaurant's position, saying that the cops weren't refused service because they are cops, but because they were armed.

Yelp Reviews

Shutterstock | 161564204

So why did the restaurant backtrack less than 24 hours after doubling down on its decision to refuse service? According to The New York Times, an avalanche of negative Yelp reviews may have had something to do with that.

Hilda and Jesse was hit with hundreds of one-star reviews, with many commentators calling for a boycott and slamming the establishment for refusing to serve police officers.

"I refuse to eat here again because you refused to serve on-duty police officers," one reviewer wrote, apparently expressing a sentiment shared by hundreds of people.

In response, Yelp "temporarily" disabled new reviews.