SF restaurant owner frustrated after city fines him for persistent graffiti on his business

A business owner expressed his frustration over repeated graffiti vandalism at his San Francisco restaurant after receiving a violation notice from the city to clean up or impose a fine.

said Viet Nguyen, owner of the soon-to-open Gao Viet Kitchen in Inner Sunset NBC Bay Area that he is fed up with his restaurant being vandalized and graffiti painted over repeatedly.

His restaurant’s latest tagging also came with a violation notice from the San Francisco Department of Public Works last week. The notice ordered Nguyen to clean up the graffiti within 30 days or face a $362 fine.

“Graffiti, it costs me a lot of money because every tag, I have to paint the thing over. I don’t really expect it to stop, but the most frustrating thing is that I get tagged by the city. It keeps happening, but what can I do?” Nguyen said ABC 7 News. “I clean it, I ride it, or whatever I need to do and it comes back.”

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Gao Viet Kitchen is scheduled to open in September. While the owner is busy relocating his Vietnamese restaurant, he has lost count of the number of times his business has been tagged.

San Francisco’s Department of Public Works suspended their enforcement of graffiti code violations during the pandemic. However, enforcement resumed last week after two years, according to San Francisco Department of Public Works spokeswoman Rachel Gordon.

“Properties that are periodically impacted can do something called a hardship application,” Gordon informed NBC Bay Area. “San Francisco Public Works will use our staff or contractor staff who are working for us and will do a courtesy reduction for six months.”

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Additionally, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reportedly gave initial approval for a public works graffiti abatement pilot program on July 20. The proposal includes a $4 million budget over two years for cleanup and support for business owners like Nguyen, who are often tagged.

The Board of Supervisors will vote for final approval before sending the ordinance to the mayor for final signature. If the proposal is formally approved, the city’s graffiti abatement program could begin this fall.

“It’s going to be focused on the commercial corridors of the neighborhood to really try to eliminate — as the supervisor (San Francisco Supervisor Myrna Melgar) wanted to do — those areas,” Gordon told ABC 7 News. I’m a burden on property owners and business owners,” Gordon told ABC7 News.

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“This is great news for the city as a whole because it means the tags will be removed sooner, so they don’t spread,” he added.

Featured image via NBC Bay Area

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