Bi-Rite Market Hires Bouncer, Institutes One-In-One-Out Policy

The very nice bouncer, who didn't size up my wardrobe or pat me down in search of concealed weapons, informed me that this has started happening on busy weekends lately in response to the fire marshal enforcing capacity limits.  He acknowledged the whole situation was “kinda embarrassing.”  Why? “Because, you know, we're a grocery store.”

Anyway, if you can get over the public shaming of patiently and nonchalantly standing behind a red rope for organic peaches and cruelty-free cheeses, Monday afternoon's line was only 2 minutes and 34 seconds long (I timed it, for journalism) and you're treated to a sampling of free tomatoes once you make it to the top of the list.

Comments (14)

I want to know who the jerk is who complained to the SFFD about over-capacity crowds in Bi-Rite (I find it hard to believe SFFD would come out and lay down the law without prompting in this case). We can only hope it’s a NIMBY neighbor who now gets to be annoyed by noise from the line out front.

what kind of idiot WAITS IN LINE to get into a grocery store?!

Hell yeah! That place is a nuisance! Despite having some of the best produce around they have ridiculous prices. Perhaps, the health department or other concerned agencies should take a look at some of their occasional ‘turning’ meat colors. I do recall an article in SanFrancisco Magazine where Bi-Rite was going on about their unheard of revenue per square foot #’s. Well duh, we’re all sardines in there paying $5 for a red pepper. The one time I was really starting to question if I was paying too much for food - being gouged (though clearly labeled) was in that store. The people packing in that store is worse than any other I have experienced in the Mission, China Town or Inner Richmond which also have tightly packed grocery arenas.

I am not surprise SFFD laid down the law. More so since Delfina has, in the past, made outside diners turn their seats funny so the sidewalk is not blocked as much.

Thank GOD. I accidentally rode over there on Saturday to get some fancy cheese and herbs. I had hoped that Burning Man would lighten up the crowds a bit and I was so wrong. Ok so I used to work at Rainbow at 15th & Mission and so I know crowds. Saturday at Bi_Rite was a fucking New Jersey Walmart on black friday. Jesus. I swore I would never go back.

Maybe I will with the ropes.


Oh good. This will make it easier to mock people.

Just go to Rainbow Grocery - yes, sometimes they have lines to wait, but if you want good food, thats whats going on, — if for anything the produce, they have %#*&! fruits and vegies!!!!

I go there once in a while for the sandwiches. They make great sandwiches. That’s the only reason why I got there - everything else is too expensive. But I certainly won’t stand in line.

Maybe the crowd will shrink down after the new one opens up in the Western Addition? All the hipsters who hang at Mojo and Bean Bag can go to that one instead of furiously pedaling their fixies down to the one in the Mission?

That place is joke! Actually that whole street there is! I understand the conviences of a “urban” market and i do like the mission. But that strp between guerreo and delores is just out of control! I dont wanna stand in line for anything!! Gabeesh!! I love my local store here in sf, and im not gonna tell ya where it is, because you;ll all start coming here and make this into little manhatten!! LOL

I love Bi-Rite. I go there so often I’m on a first basis with the staff, but everyone’s criticism of it are true. The yoga pant and bitchy middle aged yuppie index is concerningly high.

I love to hate Bi-Rite and hate to love it –So I guess I love it. my boyfriend and I have rigualized naming the meat we’re eating from there because you can geographically connect with the sacrificed creature. Its also so full of zeitgeist that I cannot leave but for beaming, altho my public servant salary can’t really justify the prices. Yet I hate how the narrow sidewalk out front along with people who feel privledged creates an utter maze to get thru. Plus what could possibly replace CrimCrams on that block?

It’s always packed for a reason- it’s great, and it’s got a great location with tons of foot traffic close to Dolores Park. If you don’t like it, don’t go there. But bagging on it makes no sense except to make yourself feel better.

On the plus side, this makes people who grew up in the USSR feel more at home.