Yesterday, representatives for the Jack in the Box in the Inner Richmond that became the target of a neighborhood petition to limit its hours went before the Entertainment Commission to defend the restaurant against charges of irresponsibility. The complaint was that this particular 24-hour Jack in the Box, at Geary and 11th, has become a haven for drunk people pouring out of Richmond bars at 2 a.m., and contributes to the chaos that led to a recent hit-and-run accident nearby. As one of the reps for the restaurant pointed out, "The nuisance of the late-night hours, mostly due to drunk patrons, is not just happening to us, but is also the responsibility of all the bars, restaurants, and gas stations in the neighborhood."
As it happened, this Jack in the Box no longer had a valid permit for late-night hours, and the effort to get the permit renewed has spurred the recent neighborhood unrest.
The owner of the restaurant agreed to increase security, close the outdoor seating area, and give away free cups of coffee during the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. hours to help people sober up.
A half dozen or so neighbors came to complain of drunks leaving Jack in the Box wrappers, as well as their own urine, on their stoops, etc. They were among 1,500 who signed the recent petition, but they did not appear to sway the commissioners, who all seemed to be leaning toward letting the place remain 24 hours, given how few such establishments there are in this town, and given the business owner's eagerness to cooperate with the community. For now, they voted for a two-week continuance on the matter to let the owner meet further with the neighborhood, and they welcomed the angry neighbors to come back to complain further.
Also of note, Supervisor Eric Mar made an appearance, and he of the Happy Meal toy ban admitted that he digs Jack in the Box tacos.