Mr. Smith’s bar was situated across the street from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and next to the San Francisco Federal Building. It has now closed down. After 15 years of operation, the bar owner, Max Young, had shut down the place on Sept. 1. He blamed the local operating drug dealers for this.
“I am dealing with organized drug dealers on my corner every day.”
A San Francisco native, Young admits that the neighborhood where his bar is located was never “Disneyland.” But, according to him, it has gotten much worse in the last four or five years.
Drug dealers are seen selling drugs just outside the bar entrance and seemed to have no care for the authorities. After people buy drugs from them, many immediately consume them, so the sidewalks nearby are lined with drug-addled, unconscious people.
Young was quoted as saying, “When my bartender is trying to come in and open the bar but he can’t because someone is passed out in the doorway, it’s hard to keep morale up.”
Customers are likewise reluctant to walk past the dealers and users to get to the bar. As a result, according to Young, the bar had not made any money probably close to a year.
He wants drug addicts to seek help and the dealers to be arrested.
Even Mayor London Breed acknowledges that the drug dealing in that area has been a constant challenge for the local authorities.
According to a district attorney spokesman, San Francisco police made about two arrests for drug dealing each day for the last two years. 86% of those arrests were prosecuted, with nearly all those convicted spending some time in jail.
The dealers, however, usually have only a small amount of drugs on themselves, so courts are unwilling to imprison them for long.
Young just wants the area to be safe enough to re-open Mr. Smith’s. “What we’re doing now isn’t working. I know that.”