Gay Bar Vandalized With Swastikas

Es KTVU in Oakland reports that Esta Noche, a Latino gay bar in San Francisco, was vandalized early Friday morning, its facade sprayed with several swastikas. The authorities kind is considered to be a serious hate crime, but upon discovering the Nazi symbols, the manager of the bar not only refused to call police but painted over them before a local news crew could arrive on time to capture them on film.

The manager, Edgar Lopez, explains why he didn't file a report: “It's a lot of problems with police. They have many paperwork and everything."

Esta Noche's co-owner believes that the bar may have been targeted “because the place is gay.” He also says that he would call police if the bar is ever vandalized again.


  1. James says

    Either the guy is FUCKING STUPID or (more likely) he has something to hide and doesn’t want attention from the police…

  2. Robert says

    A Latino bar in California? He’s worried about INS staking his place out, which would drive all his customers away.

  3. says

    San Francisco is a Sanctuary City, and people should not be afraid to report crimes.

    Gavin Newsom from 2008: “The City’s public awareness campaign is a reminder that City employees will not report individuals or their immigration status to federal immigration agents,” said Mayor Newsom. “San Francisco residents should feel safe when they visit a public health clinic, enroll their children in school, report a crime to the Police Department or seek out other City services.”

  4. Robert says

    @bclance – the sentiment may be stupid, but as a Latino Californian it’s not me that needs a clue.

  5. steve says

    Esta Noche is on a busy strip of 16th Street running through the heart of the Mission. Didn’t anyone see this happen? That stretch is rarely deserted – there’s a BART station, bus lines, and numerous clubs, restaurants and businesses there?

    Did anyone see anything?

    As for Latinos and cops – even in the Mission, it’s an uneasy relationship and I’m not surprised the bar owner didn’t want further scrutiny of his establishment. That being said, a crime is a crime is a crime….

  6. Kenny SF says

    Exactly, Larry-Bob.
    No one – no one – needs to fear in San Francisco. A crime must be reported for the safety of all …

  7. John says

    Homophobia is a possibility.

    But it is just as likely racially motivated.

    Racial tensions in Northern California are about as thick as that San Francisco fog right now. The increasingly nasty fights over Proposition 8, Oscar Grant, sanctuary cities, mosque construction, etc. are all really symptoms of a more fundamental change. The demographics are shifting and some people are reacting poorly to it. Anyone who has lived in Los Angeles will find all of this very familiar. Southern California went through this reactionary phase in the 1980s and early 1990s.

  8. Memo says

    Esta Noche isn’t “a Latino gay bar in San Francisco.”

    Esta Noche is THE Latino gay bar in San Francisco.

    And a tiny one at that.

    Good for the bar to paint over the graffiti and move on, making the tagging a non-issue. Queer power!

  9. TANK says

    well, it’s not going to be reported…and that sends a message to the perpetrators that they can do it again…and, as is the trend, not just spraypainting, but using violence. Meh, this is about illegal immigration, and the owner’s fear that it will cost him business. That’s his trade off, and he’s made it. Safety for money.

  10. El Brucio says

    I can understand the owner not wanting any attention over the incident – apparently the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has been getting a reputation for harassing bars of late.

    I’m sure while the police were taking a statement and pictures of evidence, bureaucrats would swoop in and shut the club down for not removing the graffiti quickly enough.

  11. Cody says

    I have many good memories from Esta Noche! It’s seedy, but the drag performances ROCK! Sad to see that in my city (especially in the Mission) this has happened…

  12. Paul R says

    He must have painted over them pretty damn early. I happened to walk past there around 7:15 yesterday morning, and I didn’t see any swastikas.

    I can understand why he wouldn’t want to draw scrutiny, but I don’t fully understand why swastikas would be painted on a gay Latino bar.

  13. stephen says

    My guess is that a bunch of ‘white-boys’ are the ones accusing the owner of self-preservation- you’re kidding yourselves.

    Dame Edna had it right when she said the USA won’t change immigration b/c it likes its ‘slave-class’ too much.

    Esta Noche is a funny little place where most people are likely undocumented & the owner wants THEM to feel safe coming- and I don’t blame him. You can get up on a high-horse today & he’ll still be dealing w/ operating a biz in the Mission District tomorrow…
    btw, are you all enjoying the condos you’ve bought in the Mission (previously occp’d by undocs that were shown the door w/o benefit of eviction control)? And don’t even try & tell me they have protection; when ur undocumented, that’s just a line of bull.

  14. Eric says

    In San Francisco, if your building gets grafittied and you don’t paint over it quickly enough, you get fined. So of course he is gonna paint over it quickly.

    And to those that think that not reporting it to the police will result in more violence, I don’t think that is true at all. The people who do this sort of thing want attention. That’s why they do it. By denying it to them, you demonstrate to them that you aren’t gonna play their game. Even if he had reported it to the police, they wouldn’t have done anything. The likelihood of them catching the culprits is pretty much zero. That’s why the costs of cleanup fall on the property owners and not the perpetrators.

  15. TANK says

    Well, Eric, you probably don’t believe in hate crimes, either. When a synagogue is defaced, and no action is taken by the authorities, it is tacit endorsement of the act. Endorsement encourages and emboldens the perpetrators (who now have license), and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt or killed. That is the trajectory of hate: it leaves nothing and takes everything. You can disagree with this, but it pretty amounts to an empirical claim, and stands or falls on the facts.

  16. Paul R says

    Tank, your comment only makes sense if they have a chance in hell of catching the perpetrators—evidence, witnesses, etc. Graffiti is an everyday occurrence in SF; everything from public housing to fancy mansions across the city get tagged.

    SF prosecutors have made it a low priority because it’s next to impossible to catch people doing it. They do it in the middle of the night and it takes about 30 seconds. The lack of prosecution is not a tacit endorsement of hate; it’s just another irritant of living in a big city (though I hear Casper, Wyoming has some problems with graffiti too).

    Not to mention, Esta Noche is about half a block from one of SF’s most active open air drug markets. I doubt anyone noticed the taggers. Actually I doubt most of the people buying or selling heroin and crack even realize it’s a gay bar. It’s a mile away but worlds removed from the Castro or even SOMA. Cops have pretty much given up on the area.

  17. TANK says

    Right, because we all know that catching a perpetrator and sending a message that his values aren’t held by the state by investigating it are the same thing…idiot. Whether or not they’re caught is beside the point. What matters is that they aren’t given tacit approval by doing nothing.

    You don’t think hate fueled violence escalates when left unchecked? Guess again.

  18. TANK says

    And that’s right, stephen–my god is a vengeful god who is only satisfied by the suffering of the guilty. LOL! Maybe.

  19. Paul R says

    So the police are supposed to investigate what, precisely? Ghosts? After the graffiti has been removed, there’s no evidence of the crime.

    You love to hurl insults, baby, but it only makes you look sad.

    And no one has answered my question about how swastikas are relevant to a Latino bar. KKK slogans, sure. Swastikas—no. Fucked-up morons—yes.

  20. Eric says


    Reporting graffiti isn’t gonna result in anything. It just brings attention and further empowers the perpetrators. Additionally it emboldens those who hold the same sentiments as the perpetrators to post stupid ignorant bullshit on the internet. The perfect example of this is when Most Holy Redeemer in the Castro was vandalized. If you go back and read the comments on that post on Towleroad, you’ll see exactly what I mean. By the way, the police didn’t do anything when the church was vandalized. All the media attention did was allow people to either say “That was wrong!” or “The Catholic Church is bad and they deserved it!” Similarly, here, the police wouldn’t have done anything, and people would simply say “That was wrong!” or “Those faggots deserved it!”

    Enabling that really isn’t helping anything at all.