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Concerns raised after crowds gather outside Marina District bars

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Outside of businesses in the Marina District, groups of people were seen crowded together on the sidewalk.

Many were not wearing face masks or following social distancing guidelines.

A picture and video of the hang out on Chestnut Street has raised concerns on social media.

“I think we were blamed for it, we were really not part of it,” Nate Welch said. “We just happened to be open at the time.”

Welch’s business has signs posted to remind customers to follow COVID-19 guidelines and to take their order to go.

He’s thankful police busted up Friday night’s crowds but feels he’s been caught in the cross fire of quarantine fatigue and city enforcement.

“I can’t tell from here what’s going on down there or what’s going on over there,” Welch said. “I can only see this narrow storefront.”

On Sunday afternoon, there were no crowds and hardly any sign of police looking to enforce social distancing rules.

SFPD said they spoke with the business owners Friday night about customers grouping together.

“You know I have to admit it was excessive but there was a part of me that was happy for people finally being out after so many months,” Jason Escamilla said said.

Escamilla was apart of the group in front of Howell’s wine bar Friday night.

He said he understands why people would be alarmed by what they saw.

“There’s a lot of things that happen in this city that are dangerous that was obviously, that was an extreme version of basically people just being out and seeing their friends is really what it was,” Escamilla said.

Welch says he’s trying his best to keep his customers from violating the city’s rules.

“You know everyone can do their part,” he said. “We’re obviously not the police force but we can do a little bit to help regulate the crowds and what not.”

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