“Of course I’m going to sue”
This was aptly put as San Francisco’s new unofficial motto in this article from yesterday about the fact that the city is working to shut down hookah lounges. The source of said quote was Khaled Hegazy, the owner of Cairo Nights.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, this spot is on Geary, between Hyde & Larkin, and while it is a hookah lounge, it is also a general mess for the neighborhood (ask the residents at the Castle Apartments above). And, in the midst of NIMBYism was going berserk about Little Bird outdoor seating petition, Cairo Nights was and has been amassing large, uncontrolled crowds that spilled out on to the sidewalk and are full of loud, underage drinkers. We’ve seen this time and again, and have heard complaints even from those who live across the street or a few doors down, all shaking their heads wondering how such an establishment manages to stay around.
Thankfully, there is a new “angle” which is to actually enforce the no smoking laws that have been in place in California for over a decade. Sure, owners such as Hegazy are decrying this as unfair and others are decrying it an assault against Arabs (which is untrue as they’re also popular in India, which is where the word “hookah” comes from) when really, it comes to the fact that it’s enforcing the law with a happy ending of also going after an indignant business like Cairo Nights. It’s unfortunate that more rational businesses might also get shut down (the Nile Cafe on Jones comes to mind, also Cafe Chanta on Post), but in the end, the law is the law.
I’m still wondering on what grounds Hegazy is going to sue, but I hope the state counter sues to have him pay back the legal expenses for such a flagrant, unnecessary abuse of the courts.