SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - A little over a week old, a new restaurant in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood is already changing its name, after the original caused controversy in the Mexican-American community.
"As small business owners, we have been saddened that unknowingly the name of the restaurant we recently opened has offended people. This was never our intention and we feel horribly about it, so we have decided to change the name. We hope that the focus of the restaurant can be on our creative food, delicious drinks and fun atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, and not what is written above our door. We have always wanted to celebrate Mexican culture, food and drinks, and never would want anyone to feel like they were being discriminated. Therefore, as of today, the wonderful space at 2200 Market Street will be known as HECHO! The new name is Spanish for "made" as in Hecho en Mexico or Hecho en SF. We take this to mean different things for different people, no matter where they are from. Since our menu is inspired by Mexican cuisine but has a San Francisco twist to it, we believe that this is an appropriate name that means we are not just one specific style, we are "made" everywhere. Our first week has been incredible and we want to thank everyone for their support in revitalizing this corner of Market Street. Following in the footsteps of our landlord, Leticia Luna, we're honored to continue providing quality food and service in the Castro. We are looking forward to many nights of tacos and tequila with locals and visitors alike. Thanks to everyone for all the love, Salud!"
The controversy over the restaurant's name was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle's Inside Scoop blog on Monday. The term bandidos, which means bandit or outlaw, is often seen as derogatory in the Mexican-American community. The outrage played out online on the restaurant's Facebook page, with 60+ comments posted in a thread, most commenting on the naming of the restaurant.
On Thursday, many posted on the restaurant's Facebook page, thanking the owners for deciding to make the name change and meeting with members of the community.
Woodward and Gleim also own the nearby sports bar Hi Tops in the Castro.
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