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San Francisco businesses see slow return to normal after APEC

San Francisco businesses see slow return of customers after APEC Summit
San Francisco businesses see slow return of customers after APEC Summit 02:54

SAN FRANCISCO — Although APEC officially ended Friday, many San Francisco businesses in the area said they didn't see the recovery they were hoping for this weekend.

Crews were busy moving and clearing the heavy-duty security fences that defined the landscape near the Moscone Center for more than a week. 

Several streets in the area were still closed to traffic Sunday evening, with the city confirming the fencing was removed by 8 p.m. 

"People still just wanted to avoid the neighborhood, just because of all — There were so many protests, and it was so hard to get around in the city," said bar manager at The Lark Bar Scotty Liberatore. "In general, people just kind of blocked it out of their minds and said 'Hey, we'll come back next week.'"

ALSO READ: San Francisco bars and restaurants see losses upwards of $150,000 due to APEC

Liberatore said he saw his regular customers return on Sunday, but not quite as many as he'd normally see on this day at the Market Street bar. 

"It wasn't the large groups we thought they were going to be," he said. "We had nothing to really base it off, and we had no idea what to expect; we were prepared for anything."

He said the bar had extra workers on-call, but as it turned out they weren't needed, and very few APEC attendees wandered in.

"It was a whole lot of fuss for no real reason, I don't know why they had these cages and things around, but it didn't affect me at all," said Dan Galvin, a San Francisco resident, who considered his experience the exception during APEC. 

That's because Galvin said he works next door at Cask, an artisanal liquor store. Cask and The Lark Bar are both owned by Future Bars. He lives close enough to walk to work.

Around the corner on Yerba Buena Lane, eateries said they saw a steep drop in business and the financial losses were significant. Orange security barricades were still present on the plaza late Sunday.

"Supposed to be like yesterday everything opened," said Karim, an area general manager, who didn't want to identify his restaurant. "Even us this morning, I have some vendors I tell them everything should be open. But they came here, they cannot even deliver for us."

Karim said even his regulars are still staying away.

"Even today, Sunday, still it's very slow. The restaurant is empty, we're just hoping it's going to be better," he said. 

But he said Thanksgiving week is typically slow for restaurants in the area, so it's unlikely that will help make up for the losses. 

"We just expected it to be like one of these normal conferences we have and it was clearly a different animal," added Liberatore. 

KPIX 5 reached out to the city regarding the concerns of impacted small businesses and any potential compensation for operating costs, but have not yet heard back. 

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