SAN FRANCISCO — Reina Montenegro and her partner Kenny Anis expanded their Filipino vegan restaurant business, Nick’s Kitchen, by opening their third branch in San Francisco’s Filipino cultural heritage district along Mission St.
But it came with a major challenge. The restaurant is located in an area where there a lot of people living on the streets.
“It is what it is, you know, and would be definitely nice if if it was, if people weren’t out in the street some, you know, doing their business,” said Anis.
“A lot of our reviews actually say that is a very good place to eat except the area is kind of sketchy. So, I every day I feel like I’m calling you know the authorities asking them to clean up. Because we, we always have you know, dirt on the streets,” said Montenegro.
San Francisco is on a mission to clean up its streets.
Leading into the new year, Mayor London Breed directed all city department heads to make sure their incoming budgets prioritized street-related issues — like adding more power washers, more trash bins, more police officers, shelters, and affordable housing.
The mayor sought out the support of local businesses groups and the San Francisco chamber of commerce.
Mayor Breed said the city can do better — if there’s commitment to solve the problem everyday.
“So today starts the prioritization of street conditions of taking care of the communities, and making sure that you know we come together again as a community.”
Affected business owners said they would like to see real change in the new year.
“That would be amazing if they actually do that. That makes me very hopeful about the area.”
“If people were getting treatment or something, and the city was doing something to help them, and that would I think would definitely help our business.“
It’s going to take a massive effort to clean up the streets of San Francisco but the whole city needs to realize that billions of dollars in annual tourist money are at stake if things don’t turn around.