The pandemic may appear to be waning, but merchants in San Francisco’s downtown have a long road to recovery ahead.
San Francisco’s downtown has been slower to bounce back than other U.S. cities, leaving the bars, restaurants and shops serving a commuter crowd in limbo—and often in debt—as they plan for an uncertain future.
“This area, in my opinion, has been hit the hardest in San Francisco and there has been no kind of funding or help,” said Muna Azzghayer, who runs Oasis Grill, a Mediterranean eatery close to Embarcadero, and nearby Ziggy’s Burgers. “The city completely ignored this entire area.”
In interviews with Here/Say, downtown merchants described a staggering loss of revenue and foot traffic as tourists and office workers largely avoid the area. Some were mystified about why the city has seemingly done so little to shore up downtown, which hosts millions of visitors and generates an outsized portion of the city’s tax revenue in a typical year.