Mission Bowling Club Owners Respond to Activist’s Allegations

A Planning Committee hearing on alcohol licenses in the Mission included accusations of racial insensitivity the 6-year old venue's owners say is contrary to their business model and mission.

As we reported on Friday, a longtime Mission activist spoke at a Planning Committee hearing last week in favor of a proposed restriction on hard-liquor licenses at brewpubs in the neighborhood. The activist, Roberto Hernandez, also claimed that a staffer at Mission Bowling Club once made a racially insensitive remark to him and his friends, yet the venue got an exemption from an ordinance regarding alcoholic beverage licenses.

Sensitivities around displacement and gentrification — in San Francisco generally, and in the Mission specifically — have only grown more acute over the last several years, and it’s vital that people who advocate on behalf of marginalized populations be heard. This is particularly the case when the political context at the federal level has only grown more hostile and dangerous to Latinx people.

However, Mission Bowling Club owners Molly Bradshaw and Sommer Peterson spoke with Hernandez, about his remarks, which they believe to be untrue. They claim that in a 48-minute phone conversation, Hernandez said that an employee of Mission Bowling Club never said that people of color were unwelcome, merely that he was expressing his personal feelings.

We reprint Bradshaw and Peterson’s statement in full below.

The SF Weekly article concerning the recent decisions about brew pubs in the Mission inaccurately mentioned Mission Bowling Club. This article contained information that we consider slanderous to our business. The quote in question refers to our business as one that discriminates one group in favor over another. We spoke with the person responsible for the statement, Mr. Roberto Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez confirmed that there was no direct quote or statement from anyone at MBC about “people of color not coming here,” it is just how he felt about our business after visiting when he came in with some friends 6 years ago.  

It is unfortunate that we learned of his negative experience this way — we apologized for the experience because no one should ever feel like that. From the beginning, as a women-owned small business, MBC has does all it can to be welcoming. We understand that a misstep on our part can lead to a negative opinion or a bad Yelp review, but his comments, as one of my staff put it, accused us of something that is against our core values as a business.   

We are writing this in defense of our staff, our guests, our business and ourselves. We will work alongside Mr. Hernandez because we want a better place for everyone that calls the Mission and San Francisco home.  We support the community we operate our business in, and hope other businesses will join in and donate to the non-profits that work so hard to keep our communities thriving. 

  1. MBC has donated a portion of food sales to San Francisco- and Mission-serving non-profits, for a total of  $86,279.00.

  2. Given work opportunities to those coming out of rehab and jail.

  3. Donated food to local food banks.

  4. Supported schools and non-profits with gift certificates for their raffles and fundraisers.

  5. Provide free or reduced-price bowling to schools and non-profits.

  6. Co-sponsor fundraising events.

    Sincerely,

    Sommer and Molly
    Mission Bowling Club owners
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