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Closing San Francisco restaurant bashes 'demoralizing' Yelp users

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Jake’s on Market, a restaurant that served American-style grub in San Francisco for less than a year, closed over the weekend – but not before lashing out at unimpressed reviewers on Yelp.

In a farewell note posted on its front door and on its website, Jake’s owners Tim Travelstead and Brad Becker wrote that “reading reviews and ratings on Yelp … was both amusing and demoralizing.” (Hat tip to Inside Scoop SF.)

On the crowd-sourced review site, Jake’s had three stars out of five and more than 160 total reviews, many written in the last few days. Earlier posts often referenced the previous tenant in the Castro space, an eatery called 2223 Restaurant.

Jake’s note called out customers who gave brutal one-star reviews because they resented 2223’s shut-down, “hated the color” of the T-shirts worn by Jake’s staff or criticized the eatery “for the taste of food that we have never even served.”

Travelstead and Becker thanked Jake’s “many regular customers” but added that they wished “there had been more of you.”

“And for a small minority of people who rooted for our failure before we ever opened our doors … well, we’ll never forget you either,” the pair wrote.

On Monday, Yelp user Joseph A. of San Francisco left a 3-star review on Jake’s profile.

“For those of us that ate at Jake’s there were reasons we did not go back,” he wrote. “The food was okay, but it was over priced compared to other dining places in the Noe Valley / Castro area by about 20% - 50%.”

Others, including San Francisco user City Chick A called the letter “passive-aggressive.”

“Overall, your customer base was telling you exactly what wasn't working,” wrote user Matthew W., another city resident. “It's really hard to take criticism on something you pour your heart, soul and wallet into. I hope the owners are able to take this experience as a valuable learning experience and not as a bitter pill.”

The outpouring of sentiment is hardly surprising. After all, this is a city where the dining community is extremely communicative. Remember when Four Barrel Coffee posted a note banning “talking about annoying hipster topics” in its back alley?

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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