Posters currently plastered around North Beach call for area Italian restaurant and bar Tosca Cafe to be “shut down” in relation to allegations that owner Ken Friedman sexually assaulted female employees at his New York restaurants. The posters cite a December New York Times article in which the allegations against Friedman, a music industry veteran turned restaurateur, were first publicized. It’s not clear who made the poster or put them up.
“Apologies are not enough!” read the signs, which appeared on poles along Columbus Avenue. “North Beach citizens will not tolerate misogynist bullshit any longer!”
According to the Times article, Friedman is accused of groping and forcibly kissing employees, demanding nude pictures from them, and pressuring them to drink and take drugs with him. “All the employees interviewed [for the article] said that for many women, Mr. Friedman’s unwelcome sexual overtures, verbal and physical, were part of the daily routine at his New York restaurants, especially the small, intimate Spotted Pig,” the paper wrote.
It was just a few years ago, in 2013, that Friedman and his frequent chef collaborator April Bloomfield were celebrated as the saving graces of the historic Tosca, which appeared ready to close after the retirement of its longtime owner. After the Times article appeared, Friedman took an “indefinite leave of absence” from operating his restaurants. He offered a public apology, as did Bloomfield, who was allegedly aware of the accusations against Friedman. In recent years, neither figure has been closely involved in Tosca Cafe’s daily operations. Eater SF has reached out to a restaurant representative and will update accordingly.