A San Francisco restaurant within the North Beach neighborhood has sparked controversy with a collection of signs that includes provocative messages and rants in a mixture of English and Italian.

The messages posted within the home windows of Trattoria Pinocchio name San Francisco a cesspool, counsel a race battle is inevitable and query the gender of former first girl Michelle Obama. “Is Michel (sic) Obama a girls or a person???” it reads.


One other signal assaults the media and refers to many shops, together with CNN, MSNBC and CBS, as faux.

The Italian restaurant that opened at 401 Columbus in 2001 is closing its doorways because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with KRON 4. The restaurant’s cellphone quantity and web site are each now not working.

SFGATE was unable to achieve the owner and make sure that he created the signs, however he advised KRON the messages are an expression of freedom of speech.



The windows of Trattoria Pinocchio restaurant in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, California on July 30, 2020. They are covered with homemade written signs that are creating a stir. Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE / SFGATE


Picture: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE


The home windows of Trattoria Pinocchio restaurant within the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, California on July 30, 2020. They’re lined with home made written signs which are making a stir.


The owner of a neighboring enterprise known as the signs a “shame” and “repulsive.”



“Lots of it’s hate speech,” mentioned Vince, who requested that his final identify not be used. “I had nothing to do with him.”

Dan Macchiarini, president of the North Beach Enterprise Affiliation known as the owner of Trattoria Pinnochi an “excessive individualist.”


“He is anti-social and anti-community in the whole lot he has accomplished,” Macchiarini mentioned. “He hasn’t been part of the group in any method.”

Macchiarini known as the signs “racist” and “bigoted” and mentioned they don’t symbolize the neighborhood “in any method.”

A San Francisco resident commented on the signs in a posting on Yelp. “That is only a assessment of the owner and all of his racist propaganda that’s spewed incoherently all around the constructing, it’s really disheartening,” wrote Brye L. “There isn’t a method that we are going to ever step foot on this constructing whereas this owner occupies this area. Transfer alongside.”


District three Supervisor Aaron Peskin advised KRON the owner of the institution is thought by native residents “to be unhinged.”

“No person within the neighborhood is gloomy to see him go,” Peskin mentioned.

In accordance with the Trattoria Pinocchio Fb web page, the restaurant “is owned and run by Giovanni Zocca and his spouse Maria.” Zocca immigrated from Sicily to New York when he was 17 years outdated earlier than shifting to Monterey, the place he was a fisherman and labored in eating places.

Amy Graff is the information editor at SFGATE. Electronic mail her: agraff@sfgate.com.