Since Bissap Baobab's opening just four months ago, residents in the neighboring condominium have claimed that the restaurant has decreased the value of their property, and they have submitted constant noise complaints to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Bissap Baobab, owned by Marco Senghor, is a restaurant and entertainment venue located on Mission Street in San Francisco, CA. To date, Marco has invested more than $60,000 into soundproofing, and the entertainment commission has visited several times to check the noise levels, each time Marco has been within the allowable decibel limits.
This has had a huge impact on the business including a delay of the approval of Bissap Baobab's liquor license which is a crucial source of revenue for bar/restaurants, as well as the restaurant being forced to close early most days, only being allowed to be open until 2 am on 3 days a week. In addition, this conflict has led to a noticeable decline in business, difficulties in paying rent, difficulties in continuing to provide live entertainment, and an estimated loss of $300,000 in potential revenue.
The funds raised will be used to cover any additional soundproofing needed so that Bissap Baobab can peacefully coexist with the neighbors, to help pay the debt accumulated from the losses, and a portion of the funds will be donated to SF New Deal, a non-profit organization that helps organize food drives for the homeless and those in need. If the funding goal is surpassed, Marco plans to use the additional funds to launch an Artist Fund to support musicians and performers in The Mission community.
Marco Senghor’s story is one of resilience. In 2019 after being a resident of the Mission District for 20 years, federal prosecutors wrongfully attempted to revoke his citizenship and strip him of his assets. Due to this, he was forced to close the original Bissap Baobab location and sell his liquor license for pennies on the dollar leaving him to start over with little to nothing. However, in 2022 he was named ambassador of immigrant rights, and given the opportunity to re-open Bissap Baobab in a new location on Mission St. Unfortunately, this is when the complaints from the condo owners began. Nonetheless, throughout each of the challenges and setbacks he’s faced, he remains resilient, positive, hopeful, and committed to serving his community.
We want to give our neighbors an opportunity to be a part of the community rather than fight against it. This situation is not unique to Bissap Baobab, it represents a larger issue affecting the Mission District. This neighborhood is one of the many that have been hit hard by the effects of gentrification and the COVID pandemic, so it is immensely important to preserve and uplift the culture and the residents that remain here. There is a court hearing on February 9th with the neighbors where Marco hopes to come to a resolution. We will keep you updated on the outcome of the hearing.
Thank you so much for your support, we couldn't do this without you.
We are #BaobabTogether. Together, we will make a positive impact on the lives of the Mission community.