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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Here's the List of Bars That Are Banning Google Glass (Update)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 1:36 PM

click to enlarge glassholee.png

Update: Creator of Daen de Leon explains what's up with the new "glasshole" website. Read at the bottom of this story.

Earlier this week, we incited readers with the news that a popular pub in SOMA, The Willows, made it official: no Google Glass-wearing patrons were allowed inside.

At least as long as they were donning the wearable computers.

It appears, other bars are following suit. According to, there's plenty of local watering holes that prohibit Google Glass "or otherwise restrict audio & video recording on their premises."

Here's the updated list as of lunchtime:

click to enlarge glasshole2.png

We called the venues to confirm. Most said they either had a policy banning Google Glass or were working on one to restrict all types of recording devices. A few bars never picked up the phone (hangovers!).

A bartender at Lucky 13 told us that the wearable computers weren't allowed inside "because people prefer to have their privacy in here." He then hung up on us.

The 500 Club down in the Mission told us they recently posted a sign outside the bar forbidding Google Glass inside. Jeff Lucas, an employee at the bar, said they scrawled the new signage after the Molotov's incident where local techie, Sarah Slocum, claims she was attacked by patrons while showing of her Google Glass. "We want people to have a nice experience at the bar," Lucas says.

Update: Creator of Daen de Leon, a Molotov's regular and local software engineer, spoke to SF Weekly via e-mail, explaining the new purpose of the new site.

Here's what he had to say:

What Sarah Slocum demonstrated is that in the hands of the socially inept (or at the tail-end of a pub crawl) those semiotic signals flash and blink out of control, and that night they triggered defensive behavior in people who neither wanted to nor were asked if they could be recorded while they were in their cups, in their local bar. It is also worth bearing in mind that a significant number of Molotov's regulars are techies, anyway, so anyone casting this as some tech/anti-tech ground zero is on the wrong track. It's more about privacy/anti-privacy, really.

When Molotov's posted their ban on audio & video recording on the premises, followed by the Willows (and the Sycamore), whose owners I know, it just seemed natural to provide a website where people could check whether Google Glass was allowed or not. I don't want to engender some kind of technological apartheid, just provide people with some measure of assurance that there are places where they can let off steam without being surreptitiously recorded. I know that cellphones are quite as capable, but the point is it is harder to be stealthy with a hand-held piece of plastic and glass (and if you are

being stealthy with your cell phone, that's precisely as creepy as someone stealthily recording with their Google Glass, isn't it?)

I've reached out to a few bars & cafes myself to ask if they want to be included, while others are either run by or tended by friends of mine, and they've told me directly, or I've found reference through other websites to 'no Google Glass' policies or stories in the media. I'm happy for as many more to contact me as they want (or, alternatively, to tell me that they *do* allow Google Glass on the premises -- I haven't heard from any of them yet, though!)

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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