September 25, 2021

GOODER AND HARDER: ‘A disaster:’ How San Francisco’s office mask mandate is impacting restaurants, bars.

“We finally reopened in June when the [COVID] numbers looked good and when we looked at return-to-office plans for Salesforce and other companies,” Chun said. “In July, things picked up, but then delta hit, plans got delayed and August was just a disaster.”

“We reopened at the end of July, and it’s cost us $30,000 just to be open in that time,” said Leilani Mason, the owner and operator of Southside Spirit House, a SoMa bar that often serves Salesforce, LinkedIn and Yelp employees. “We heavily depend on the happy hour crowd, that’s our bread and butter. But a week after we reopened, the city said, ‘Just kidding, the pandemic isn’t over even if you’re vaccinated and we all need to wear masks,’ and then offices pushed back their reopening plans. We have no customers at happy hours, and we’re having our staff come in but there’s no one for them to serve.”

Of course, rules are for the little people: “In San Francisco over the weekend, Mayor London Breed explained that the video of her enjoying herself maskless at a jazz club doesn’t count when you really think about it, because, unlike you, she is really into music. ‘My drink was sitting at the table,’ Breed said when pushed on the matter, and ‘I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.’ Which is an absolutely spiffing excuse if one assumes that the mayor of San Francisco is alone among her fellow citizens in desiring to spend her evenings without a large piece of cloth strapped across her face. Exonerating herself further, Mayor Breed suggested that ‘we don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing.’ Which, again, is a ripping justification if we assume that everyone else in San Francisco is just dying for close supervision.”

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