August 6, 2020

IT’S COME TO THIS: San Francisco restaurant turns to dome dining amid growing homelessness on streets.

For struggling restaurants, adding outdoor dining means facing a variety of elements on San Francisco streets — including the impact of the homelessness crisis that’s only worsened during the pandemic. In the case of one fine dining restaurant, it means enclosing diners in transparent geodesic domes on the plaza in front of its doors.

On Wednesday, Hashiri, a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant, began seating diners inside these domes — structures covered in plastic that are sometimes employed by rooftop bars during winter in New York or Chicago known as garden igloos — for a $200-per-person kaiseki and omakase sushi dinner.

Hashiri attempted to seat diners outside once before during the pandemic, but manager Kenichiro Matsuura said the setting didn’t make it feasible. Hashiri is located in Mint Plaza, an area near Fifth and Mission streets where homeless people often congregate.

I’m pretty sure Get Smart wasn’t intended to be a how-to guide for fine-dining.

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