SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — On Monday morning, Market Street in San Francisco will erupt with excited fans who traveled near and far to celebrate the Warriors championship and the first parade in the city since the team moved to Chase Center from the Oakland Arena.
Crews Sunday evening were busy unloading barricades and building platforms for Monday’s big celebration.
The Department of Public Works said it sent inspectors out to Market Street after the win to identify obstacles on the streets and sidewalks. It also noted construction projects that may pose a risk to the public if not secured.
“After the inspectors go through these last 24 to 36 hours before the parade is all about cleaning — which we do on a daily basis anyway — but we’re going to have tens of thousands of people tomorrow so we want to make sure everything is really clean and sparkling and there’s no trash,” said Beth Rubenstein, deputy director of policy and communications at the Department of Public Works. “All the trash cans are thoroughly empty because they’re going to be filled up tomorrow.”
Business operators who have struggled through the pandemic are banking on a big boost in sales.
Mohammad Zughaiyer, owner of Oasis Grill on Market Street, is one of them.
Zughaiyer spent the day preparing extra food even though the Mediterranean-style restaurant is typically closed Sundays. He was putting his game plan in place to make sure his business can handle hundreds — maybe even thousands — of customers before and after the parade.
“We are gonna be here very early in the morning, like 5 o’clock,” Zughaiyer said.
Aside from getting the food ready, his biggest challenge was to round up enough cashiers and cooks during this labor shortage.
“My expectation is it’s gonna be super busy,” Zughaiyer said.
“All hands on deck, all hands on deck celebrating, shouting ‘Warriors!'” said Celina Chang Song, the manager at nearby Gai Chicken and Rice. She will bring in two extra cashiers Monday to keep the line moving.
While businesses in the Financial District welcome the one-day surge, what really helps, they say, is a consistent daily flow of foot traffic.
“This parade will definitely help get a lot of exposure since we’re a pretty new restaurant in the area on Market Street,” Chang Song said.
Gai Chicken and Rice opened four months ago, replacing a previous restaurant that couldn’t pay rent and abandoned the spot.
There are a lot of empty storefronts up and down Market Street.
The pandemic also forced Zughaiyer to shut down Oasis Grill for almost two years.
“That was a nightmare. You cannot pay your rent!” Zughaiyer said.
He reopened the restaurant about three months ago but, with most office and tech workers still working from home, he said it’s been a struggle.
“There’s no way we can survive without the office workers ’cause those are the people we need every day to have a busy lunch hour,” Zughaiyer said.
The Mid-Market area is still rife with shuttered storefronts and visible homelessness.
“It’s not out of the ordinary that we’ve been working with Mid-Market,” Rubenstein said. “We want to help folks who are in crisis, who are dealing with mental health issues and drug issues and housing issues and we also want to make the streets safe for everyone,” said Rubenstein.
As for transportation, perhaps your best bet getting to the parade route from the East Bay or Peninsula is via BART.
“We have plenty of capacity. We have normal weekday service. We’re going to make a point of running our longest 10-car trains throughout the day. In addition to that, we’re going to stage a dozen event trains that we can deploy on an as-needed basis as we gauge the size of the crowds,” said spokesperson Chris Filippi.