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San Francisco Boulevard Restaurant Manager And Owner Targeted by Vandals, Burglars

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- San Francisco's Boulevard restaurant has gained world-wide acclaim, it has also become a target during the city's rising wave of street crime.

On the morning of January 17th, a brazen vandal used a wine bottle to smash several windows, causing thousands of dollars in damage. And it wasn't the only time the suspect has targeted the restaurant.

"Terrible. Right before omicron things were starting to look okay and then we had just opened, and there was a lot of excitement," said General Manager Jacob Paronyan. "And then omicron hit, and everything started to go in the opposite direction, and to have that to deal with and staff being out..."

Boulevard reopened in September after a major refresh. Paronyan said the suspect responsible was seen on video smashing the front door of a nearby hotel moments before, that very morning. A witness to Boulevard's incident confirmed the suspect was the same person seen on surveillance footage.

The vandal also recently came in the restaurant to cause a disturbance and physically assaulted a manager, according to owner and chef Nancy Oakes.

"This is property damage, but it's I think it was $12,000 or $15,000, I mean that's not trivial," said Oakes. "And when you're really trying to get open, it's another setback."

For Paronyan, he experienced yet another setback the next week. He owns Total Meltdown, a new comfort food eatery on Union Street in the Marina. Someone broke in through the front glass door, and stole the safe and cash register, which was captured on surveillance video on January 23rd.

"So difficult in San Francisco to do business for a small restaurant as it is, with all the other challenges as it is, and then to kind of wake up to several thousand dollars in damages that just you don't have to take care of - is disheartening," he said.

In the same three-week period, Paronyan also had his personal car broken into in the Dolores Heights. Nothing was taken other than a charging cord, but he had to deal with window repairs.

"The city's gotten much less safe, we tell our staff walk in twos, three months ago - stabbings and robberies, just around the corner from here," he said.

The 12-year San Francisco resident is still committed to the city - as is longtime restauranteur Oakes.

"That's the saddest part for me - I love San Francisco," she said. "This is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it has to be taken care of."

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