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Pokémon Are Lurking Around SF Restaurants

Where are you catching them all?

Technology has stolen more of our lives, following the launch of Pokémon Go, the "augmented reality" game for smartphones. The game uses a combination of GPS and your smartphone’s camera to "find" the creatures at various locations in real time.

That means players can discover a Charmander or Pidgey lurking in the corner of their living room, or about to have a bite of their sandwich in a restaurant (though we recommend putting down the phone to actually enjoy your meal). The little buggers are everywhere, and players are walking all over the city to find them. (Check out full explanations of how the game works here and here.) As a result, restaurants that are designated as gyms (where players can battle their creatures), or PokéStops (where valuable items like Poké Balls can be found) are seeing an uptick in business. The game uses location data from another game called Ingress, in which players determined noteworthy locations to lure each other to; Pokémon Go uses these same locations for Poké Stops, which are often very close to restaurants, and have a radius of around 50 feet.

Since Niantic Labs, the company that developed the game, is located in San Francisco, it's been an especially popular and Pokémon-filled location for players (here is a detailed map from Curbed SF). According to the Pokémon SF subReddit, Lucky 13 and Kezar Pub are both gyms, and the Beach Chalet was a major hotspot for catching a ton of Squirtles over the weekend.

Pokémon Go players at Beach Chalet [Photo: Facebook/Pokemon Go Bay Area]

Though the game is still a mobile game that requires users to stay glued to a smartphone (which is a dangerous way to wander about the city, says SFPD), it's social in nature as groups of players swarm to hot spots.

So, which restaurants and bars have the best Pokémon hanging around? Tell us in the comments, and check back to see where to find that hard-to-find Pokémon.