May 23, 2024

Oakland, California is one of the crime capitals of America, as evidenced not just by its rising (by double digits) violent crime rate but by the number of businesses and residents that are fleeing it for greener pastures, leaving it looking like – as one area business leader called it – a “ghost town.”


The last six months in particular have been pretty brutal for Oakland, with one restaurant after another announcing store closures, including the first-ever In-N-Out burger joint after 18 years of service, and the Denny’s on Hegenberger Rd, which closed at the end of January after 54 years of serving the community.

Their reasons? Crime, and the safety and well-being of their employees and customers.

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As we’ve noted before, the situation in Oakland has gotten wildly out of hand, with even the local NAACP calling out local so-called leaders and “Defund the Police” activists for the city’s rapid crime-based deterioration.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has even swooped in, sending an additional 120 California Highway Patrol officers to assist the cash-strapped police department in combating crime.

But as the case is with much of what Gavin Newsom does, it hasn’t done much if any good, which was confirmed by Taco Bell, which recently announced that several locations in Oakland would be closing their dining rooms and offering drive-thru only, cashless service for the foreseeable future:


Sources tell the four restaurants – all operated by franchiser Diversified Restaurant Group (DRG) – made the decision to lock their doors to customers amid a spike in violent crimes in the city. 

The move was described as a ‘safety and business decision’, insiders say. 

There is now only one location still offering indoor dining in Oakland, a combination Taco Bell/KFC on Telegraph Avenue. The venue is operated by a different franchiser and already has limited indoor seating due to its small size.

In a statement to media outlets, Taco Bell PR confirmed the reasons for the decision to go drive-thru only:

“Providing a safe environment for team members and customers is the priority at Taco Bell restaurants. The franchise owner and operator has informed us that they are consistently evaluating and working to ensure a safe environment by implementing procedures, such as closing dining rooms, and hiring security guards, and they have taken extra measures to meet with local law enforcement.”


Though this has frustrated some residents who are wrongly taking it out on Taco Bell and not the dangerous crime climate that forced the franchise owners’ hands, at least one person showed that he understood exactly why this was happening, saying “change” was desperately needed:

“We got a whole bunch of businesses bouncing because they’re not safe no more,” one longtime Oakland resident said in his car outside the Taco Bell. “It shouldn’t happen… the situation has got to change, period.”


I’m still waiting for someone to pull an Ayanna Pressley and cry “racism” here because that’s the only thing Democrats have to offer when the consequences of their soft-on-crime policies are, unfortunately, realized. 

But as I’ve said before, residents and other community leaders in their respective communities should wake up and take it up with the elected officials (like Pressley) whom they put into office in the first place, and let them know they will no longer accept the far left’s disastrous approach to the crime issue. 

And then they need to turn around and put people in office who have the backbone to do what needs to be done to fight back against the crime issues rather than coddle the offenders. 


Until then, expect things to get worse, because that’s what happens in big Democrat-run cities where the lunatics run the asylum and voters let them. 

Recalling woke Alameda County D.A. Pam Price would be a great start, but there’s so much more the voters can and need to do in the court of public opinion and at the ballot box to right the ship – assuming of course that it’s not too late.

Flashback: Democrats Should Shut up and Listen to Oakland Police Chief’s Emotional Response to Devastating Budget Cuts

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