Anyone who's been to Lower Haight punk bar Molotov's knows that it's not really the kind of place you'd want to wear so much as a tech-company hoodie, to say nothing of a pair of Google Glass. Nonetheless, tech writer Sarah Slocum donned her $1,500 pair of the high-tech specs to drink at Molotov's on Friday night and record videos of friends, and claims she was assaulted and robbed shortly thereafter. KPIX broke the story last night. "I got verbally and physically asaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some wanker Google Glass haters," Slocum wrote on Facebook. "Then some *bleeeeeeeeeep* tore them off my face and ran out with them then and when I ran out after him his *bleeeeeeep* friends stole my purse, cellphone, wallet and everything." While Slocum told KPIX she was able to recover her Glass headset by chasing down the thief, her other possessions are still missing, and she's filed a police report.
The incident was apparently caused when a female patron insulted Slocum's eyewear and told her that people like her were 'destroying the city,' and one of Slocum's male friends decided to take the fight physical. Brian Lester, a bar patron who witnessed the incident, had a different perspective on the issue, as he told KPIX: "[Slocum] was running around very excited, and people were telling her, 'You're being an asshole, take those glasses off'...Everybody was upset that she would be recording at a bar at last call, with obviously embarrassing behavior going on around her. People were rather insulted that someone thinks it's OK to record them the entire time they're in public." Another patron concurred: "The crowd at Molotov's is not a tech-oriented crowd for the most part. It's probably one of the more punk-rock bars in the city...No one should be [attacked for wearing Google Glass], but a level of tact in that type of establishment might have behooved her."
While a Molotov's bartender told KPIX that he was upset and disappointed by the incident, it apparently wasn't enough for the bar to take action when the fight broke out. According to Slocum, "I would actually like to put pressure on the owners of Molotov because when the guy tore them off my face and ran outside I was instructing the bouncer or anyone to get his ID [and] they did nothing." Nonetheless, the incident hasn't dissuaded her from wearing Glass. "Right before this happened, I was showing one of the normal, excited and curious individuals there how it works, letting them try it on and demonstrating it for them. This is the experience 95% of the time. These other people were just bitter, ugly, nasty, angry, jealous, confused and threatened people and this was apparently their hive," she wrote on Facebook, where this is her cover image.
Update, 2:18 pm: Both we and Eater National have heard from a group of uninvolved people who were at Molotov's that night. Here, in their own words, are two additional accounts of the evening.
Right before we left, a guy grabbed her arm and dragged her outside while she was yelling. It was hard to tell if it was violent at this moment or if they were just friends and drunk. When we got outside, I saw them a little further down the street (still on the same block), hitting each other and yelling. She stormed back to the bar, yelling "fuck you" along with some other undecipherable comments. Then another guy (I'm assuming her friend) got into a fight with the same guy (not sure who started it), and they were locked in a holding pattern/bear hug, stumbling all over the sidewalk, trying to get punches in. At that point, they came very close to us and I told my friends we should leave. I heard some yelling about "tech" from the onlookers during the fight.
We suspected that the fight was over Google Glass (because you don't normally see a male/female bar fight), and with some of the yelling from the other patrons, but weren't totally sure. The bar was your typical SF old school establishment with loud rock music and a pool table. Definitely not a place where you'd expect to see someone wearing Google Glass.
When we left the bar there was some commotion on the corner of the block and she came running back toward the bar yelling. She was wearing her glasses. Then two guys started aggressively embracing. I didn't see any punches thrown, just a lot of bear hugging and dry humping. It seemed to be escalating though when when two or three other dudes joined the scrum and we decided to get out of there asap.
Molotov's is described as a 'punk rock bar' but I'm not really sure what that means other than there's a lot of rock n' roll on the jukebox. It's kind of dingy, the floor's a bit sticky, they have a pool table, and pin ball machines. I'm a small, yuppiesh Asian dude and I've never felt uncomfortable or unwelcome there. It's also the only bar on the street with a full liquor license so maybe people get rowdier than usual.