1121 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach resident Nate Nicholson is ticked at McDonald’s. On December 10, he was protesting out in front of the restaurant at 1121 Garnet Avenue, to the honking approval of several passersby.
After returning to the PB area in October, Nicholson said he and a friend would have breakfast in the restaurant almost every day. “I spent $200 the first month in there,” he said.
Then, just after Thanksgiving, he and other friends — who he said were all paying customers — started being charged 25 cents to use the restroom, when other customers were not being charged.
“You have to pay to poop,” said Nicholson. (This reporter was not charged to use the restroom.)
“Yes, I’m homeless, but I’m respectful, and I clean up after myself,” said Nicholson. “They [pointing to the McDonald’s] always make it the homeless’ fault. The ‘30 minute limit to enjoy your meal’ posted sign is only enforced on the homeless. Some of my friends are told they have to get their food to go or they won’t be served."
This reporter also noticed that all the electrical outlets in the dining area were covered up.
“That’s because of the homeless,” said customer and lifelong PB resident William Wyllett. “I can understand why so many homeless are here, but it’s not fair to them.” Wyllett also pointed out that several other restaurants in the beach area have removed their tableside A/C outlets.
The restaurant’s general manager was off duty and email attempts for a comment by McDonald’s Corporation media relations were unsuccessful prior to filing this story.
Nicholson hopes the result of his one-man protest will be an apology from McDonald’s and that perhaps the restaurant chain will work to help the homeless situation.
Nicholson showed me his Facebook page, on his iPhone 5, where his grievances are listed. He also suggested I go down two blocks to a Starbucks to charge my laptop, which is what I did to be able to file this story.