A “fun, unpretentious” bar that hosts live shows and has a Ping-Pong table was the stage for a brazen midnight robbery Wednesday night.
Two minutes before midnight, the suspect, described as a 25-year-old black male, walked into Thee Parkside on 17th and Wisconsin streets brandishing a gun.
The suspect ordered all customers to the floor and went to the bartender demanding money from the register, according to San Francisco police. After the bartender complied, the suspect went to the customers, robbing them and fleeing with an unknown amount of money, police said.
Parkside owner Malia Spanyol, who was not present at the time of the robbery, said no bands were playing during the robbery and there were seven people in the bar, including the bartender, at the time of the robbery. Nobody was hurt during the episode, she added.
Other restaurants and bars in the area have recently been robbed, but the Wednesday night event was not part of a series of robberies, San Francisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said.
“[We] have no other robbery that fits this [description],” Mannina said, adding that the case is under investigation.
A man with a handgun robbed Bloom’s Saloon, located nearby on 18th and Texas streets, and its patrons twice three months ago, said Rico, a bartender there. The man came in on weeknights just before closing with a large handgun, robbing wallets and the cash register, said Rico, who was not present at either occasion.
“It was a field day for this guy,” he said, noting that the bar put in security cameras after the incidents.
A year ago, the Connecticut Yankee, also nearby at Connecticut and 17th streets, was robbed when a suspect climbed the back fence as a bartender was alone at the bar and robbed the place, according to people who work there.
Spanyolbought Thee Parkside, directly across the street from Jackson Playground, last April and said she is not nervous about another robbery happening again — before knocking on wood. “We’re just taking measures so we’ll be better prepared if there’s a next time,” Spanyol said.
Jennifer Hennesy, an art student at the Academy of Art University, frequents Thee Parkside for its music and said many of her fellow art students head there because there’s “no pretention there.”
“It’s not shocking [because of the neighborhood], but it’s not going to change how I handle myself,” Hennesy said of the Wednesday night robbery.