There has been a lot of chatter, especially among Chronicle columnists this year, about how much worse the overall homelessness situation has been feeling near their offices around Mission and Fifth. Now columnist C.W. Nevius gets confirmation of this from nearby restaurateur Adam Mesnick, the guy behind the popular sandwich spot The Deli Board (Folsom between 6th and 7th) and the Jewish (er "Newish") deli spinoff Rye Project (180 7th Street near Mission), who has watched the neighborhood change daily over the last several years.
Says Mesnick, “The drug use is out of control. I have never seen people shooting up as much as I have seen now. It’s the drugs and the car break-ins.”
Mesnick says he and his staff at the Deli Board used to recommend customers take their sandwiches to the park across the street, Victoria Manalo Draves Park, but after Rec & Parks stopped allowing people to use it as a dog park, foot traffic went down and it's now a haven for open-air drug use, he says, and "45 homeless people drinking 40-ouncers."
This is of course Nevius's bread and butter stories about small businesses struggling to make it in SF despite entrenched bureaucracy the city's and SFPD's perceived inaction when it comes to crime and homelessness. A couple years ago he rallied for a Tenderloin cafe owner struggling to get a permit for sidewalk seating.
And in Mesnick's case, it's an interesting case study in what the rest of the city perceives as a rapidly gentrifying area, mere blocks from the headquarters of tech titans like Uber and Twitter.
Mesnick describes getting jumped by three guys on Minna Street, near his home, three years ago, but also about one of his employees getting so freaked out by a "sketchy customer" last week that she feared for her safety. "At this point, my biggest concern is not slicing the corned beef right, it is that my employees are safe," says Mesnick.
Notably, this also just a block away from where a trans woman and her partner were recently attacked by a sketchy couple roaming the neighborhood.