Trattoria Pinocchio, a restaurant in North Beach, San Francisco, is being slammed because of the controversial signs posted on its windows in broken English and Italian.
Some of the signs questioned Michelle Obama’s gender, while others called the city a cesspool.
The owner of the restaurant refused to go on camera, but maintained that his signs exercised his freedom of speech.
He said that he was leaving San Francisco because the city leaders were failing people like him, and that some of the residents in the neighborhood are delighted to see him leave.
“It’s definitely bizarre,” David Essling said. “I don’t know what the point is per se.”
Essling stated that the signs came across as an angry rant, but the more you read, they became more bigoted.
One sign questions if former first lady Michelle Obama is man.
“For someone to say that Michelle Obama is a man is a little troubling,” one woman said.
“It’s clearly racist and bigoted,” Dan Macchiarini, the president of the North Beach Business Association, said.
Macchiarini stated that it’s a well known fact in the neighborhood that the owner of the restaurant is intolerant.
District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin said in part: “The owner of this establishment is known by all local residents to be unhinged. Nobody in the neighborhood is sad to see him go.”
It was revealed that the restaurant is closing down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“People are angry right now, and I get that people are angry this is a little aggressive for me,” a woman said.
“I have no regrets about this individual leaving and his business folding up,” Macchiarini said. “And it’s unfortunate I have to say that but because we don’t like to lose businesses at all.”
The signs are still up – at least for now – and the residents have maintained that it’s best to ignore them.
“This isn’t representative of North Beach as a community and a neighborhood, so if you do walk by maybe look away,” one resident said.
Recently, the restaurant’s front door was vandalized with a profane message asking the owner to shut up.
Other business owners agreed to off-camera interviews, and they maintained that the messages on the signs were repulsive, and that they were too happy to see him go.