San Francisco sandwich shop blasts city’s straw ban on menu: ‘You can still get needles for free’

Restaurants in San Francisco may not be able to offer straws in the near future, but they can still serve up plenty of sass.

The Sentinel, a sandwich shop located in the city’s financial district, is sharing its feelings about the city’s newly approved straw ban via its recent menus, some of which have been printed with the owner’s commentary.

“Napkins, straws, and bags are available upon request. You can still get needles for free though,” a message printed on the menu reads, according to the San Francisco Gate.

“Welcome to SF.”


The shop’s message makes reference to a policy implemented by San Francisco’s Department of Health, which provides clean needles to drug users in the hopes of decreasing the spread of diseases and offsetting potential medical costs of users who would have shared dirty needles instead.

The policy has been in effect since 1993. The city doles out around 4.45 million needles per year, per a report in Curbed

The city’s mayor, London Breed, issued a response and said the straw ban and the needle program address separate issues.

“I totally understand that but these are different issues,” Breed said in a meeting with business leaders on Wednesday, KPIX reported. “San Francisco has been an environmental leader, the goal is to not just think about what’s happening now but think about what’s happening in the future… As it relates to needles, I know people are frustrated. People suffer from drug addiction and sadly, just because we don’t like it or don’t want to see it, it doesn’t mean it will disappear.”


San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a ban on plastic straws, stirrers, and takeout chemicals made with fluorinated chemicals in late July. The ban on all of these items is slated to go into effect in January 2020.

The owner of The Sentinel told KPIX he wasn’t aiming to start a controversy, but rather sharing his statement. He also said he’s considering removing the message entirely.

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