A Larkin Street Quickly boba shop has been accused by the DA of trafficking stolen goods, but that allegation has been sitting in plain sight in their Yelp reviews, and draw your own conclusions on why the shop was “cash only.”
It’s only been a day since San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s bombshell announcement of the arrest and charging the owner of a Tenderloin Quickly with moving stolen goods in a burglary ring. (And it’s the husband of the individual franchise owner, Quoc Le, who is charged, not the larger franchise that has more than 60 locations.) But in the day since, the Chronicle reported that Yelp reviewers have been alleging that a fencing operation has been going on there for years.
This piqued SFist’s curiosity, so we scrolled through those reviews. We found some other highly unusual characteristics to this particular Quickly at 709 Larkin Street.
Notably, hmmm, this 2015 Yelp review says the place is “cash only?” Can’t imagine why that would be! This stands in complete contrast with other SF Quickly locations whose Yelp pages are quite clear that “Quickly accepts credit cards.”
We also see the “cash only claim in this 2017 Yelp review that asserts, “This was my first visit to a Quickly. Not sure if it's the case for all of them, but this one is CASH ONLY.” That same reviewer adds to “Ignore the possibly illegal business to the right of the store and make your way to the counter on the left.”
A 2018 review alleges “come if u lost ur phone. They buy stolen phones & jailbreak it,” accompanied with screenshots of texts from someone trying to recover a stolen phone.
Later that same year, another Yelper alleges “Wait this place is a Quickly's? I guess I was so distracted by the amount of Mac desktops, laptops, and iphones on the counter and floor I hadn't noticed!”
Also from 2018: A review that notes: “Not your typical Quickly's Boba joint. They share space with a super clustered electronic repair "shop" that is literally laid out on one side taking up half of the seating area.” That reviewer also adds, “Another thing, CASH ONLY FAM!”
It’s certainly a political win for Boudin’s office that their investigative work cracked this case, particularly at a time when stolen goods resale is out of control in San Francisco. But it may slightly undermine that investigative work that this information has been sitting in plain sight on Yelp for more than five years. A rep for Boudin's office told the Chronicle they were unaware of these Yelp claims.
Image: Yessenia C. via Yelp