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Willie Brown Spurns Favorite Steakhouse After Girlfriend’s 1-Star Yelp Review

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Bob’s is on the chopping block

David R./Yelp

Frequent Willie Brown sightings at Bob’s Steak and Chophouse in the Omni Hotel might be a thing of the past if his longtime girlfriend, Sonya Molodestkaya, is true to her word. In a scathing one-star Yelp review of the restaurant, Molodetskaya writes that she and a female friend arrived before the former mayor did, and as a result were treated like “second class citizens” by a new host who didn’t recognize her without her famous counterpart.

Typically it’s Brown who plays the restaurant critic: The politician is known to name-check his favorite old-school establishments like The Big 4, John’s Grill, and Waterbar in his column for the Chronicle, even weighing in on the most recent dining trends. Don’t you just hate it when restaurants don’t have white tablecloths? Willie Brown does. Shouldn’t your meal be free if you’re not seated right away? He sure thinks so.

But this time it was Molodetskaya who had a bone to pick. “I was told by my media followers they turn to my dining suggestions all the time since I eat out twice a day every day,” the influencer wrote. Check out her Yelp screed in full, below:

If you want to be MISTREATED AND LIED to - Bob’s Steak and Chop House is your place and dark haired male host is your guy. Mayor Willie Brown and I dine in this place at least once every two weeks or even more often for MANY years, in fact, we both loved this place because it’s conveniently located and is a great idea to go to if you shop on Union Square (in my case) or have a meeting in one of the financial organizations close by (in Mayor Brown’s case), food is consistently good - I always order the same meal: tomato onion salad and petite filet accompanied by a nice bottle of red wine - what else do we need?! so we consider ourselves regular and satisfied clients. Usually we are welcomed by a nice lady host, unfortunately I don’t know her name, Asian and very polite, she immediately takes us to the table. This place doesn’t usually get very busy unless there is a big convention going on, and on a regular night they have some available tables. Knowing that Mayor Brown usually calls in advance. Last night, January 20th, situation was little different from our usual: my girlfriend and I were shopping in DT, and Bob’s was a natural choice for us to go. Willie Brown was running late and we decided: her and I go earlier and start our dinner and he will join us when he finishes. As we walked in, we noticed at least ten empty tables. We approached the host stand and asked the male host (description above) if we can have a table for three. He looked at us and said he will have a table after 8pm (we walked in at 7.10pm). I was under impression he was new and just simply doesn’t know the regular clientele, yet, which is OK. I proceed explaining to him in a nice way that Mayor Brown and I dine here very often and he is also coming but later. At that point he said: ok give me 15 minutes which is totally fine considering we did not have a reservation. We both are not drinking alcohol this month and did not want to occupy two seats at the bar drinking just water when bartender can make more money on people who drink alcohol, so we decided to stay in a waiting area. 15 minutes, 25 minutes, 40 minutes - we are still standing, and there are still empty tables. I approached him again asking the table update. And he said: I will sit you at the table when Mayor gets in! I asked: why? you don’t believe he is coming? At that point we started feeling as we were second class citizens, we don’t get to be seated after 40 minutes waiting in the restaurant where I dine regularly (and I explained that to him earlier) till the important person of our group gets in?! It was very offensive, but got even worst in a next 15 minutes. He saw Willie Brown walking in, grabbed the menus and RAN to us saying: I can take you to your table. At that point I felt so mistreated I said: actually I changed my mind, I don’t want to eat here tonight, in fact, I don’t ever want to eat at this place again. Did the table mysteriously JUST become available when he walked in?? No, it was available the entire time, the host just simply was exercising his power for the reason known to him only. His coworker another lady kept on saying: we are very sorry but he kept on arguing with us trying to prove his point which as far as I know is a wrong technique. We left with the promise of never coming back and put our bad experience widely on the media which I did, and with my thousands Instagram and Facebook followers this is not good for any business! I was told by my media followers they turn to my dining suggestions all the time since I eat out twice a day every day.San Francisco is known as a place with a huge variety of places to eat. New restaurants open up every month and it may be easy to get customers to come once but it’s extremely difficult to turn them into the loyal clients who love you and support you for years. I am not the restaurant owner but if I were - one of my highest priorities would be the serious host/ hostess training because he/ she is the first face we, customers, see when we walk in. It’s a very serious and a delicate job, sometimes more important than a chef. We can always forgive a poorly prepared meal but it’s very hard to forgive being mistreated.

One reason Brown might be sad to learn that he won’t be going back to Bob’s: A particular perk he’s been unable to find elsewhere. As he wrote in 2012:

I also became fascinated with the idea of pickles and how they seem to excite diners these days, so I took a window table at Bob’s in the Omni Hotel. They have a big jar of pickles on each table and you’re able to take the pickles for free, just as if you’re drinking water or eating bread.

I thought they were basically a table decoration, but everyone was eating them, especially the carrots. I’ve concluded that part of the reasons you go to Bob’s is for the free pickles because they are something you can’t get at most other places.

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