San Francisco restaurant hit with negative reviews after it asks officers to leave

David Paul Morris

A San Francisco restaurant was hit with a wave of negative reviews after it made headlines for asking uniformed police officers to leave, saying the presence of guns made staff members uncomfortable.

Hilda and Jesse, a breakfast restaurant in the city's North Beach neighborhood, seated three uniformed officers Friday but said its staff members became uncomfortable with the presence of "multiple weapons" shortly afterward.

The restaurant's Instagram page said it was not a political decision and that it was made with the interest of the staff members in mind.

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

The restaurant owners also met with officers at the police department's central station Saturday to discuss the incident, NBC Bay Area reported.

An onslaught of negative 1-star reviews hit the Hilda and Jesse Yelp page over the weekend.

"Refusing law enforcement because they were in uniform is all I need to know about this place," a review said. "Will never step foot in there. Be sure NOT to call the police if you're being robbed!! Don't be hypocrites!!"

Another reviewer wrote: "What is wrong with you? I look forward to you going out of business. You are a disgrace. Throwing cops out????"

By Sunday morning, the restaurant page had a 1-star rating with more than 460 reviews.

Police Chief Bill Scott addressed the issue Saturday in a series of tweets. He said the department stands for "safety with respect," even if the officers find someone else's wishes "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," he said.