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The owners of a restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood have apologized following an incident in which uniformed police officers were asked to leave the eatery because the officers’ guns made employees uncomfortable.

In a statement posted Sunday on social media, Hilda and Jesse owners Rachel Sillcocks and Kristina Liedags Compton said “these are stressful times, and we handled this badly.”

Three officers were asked to leave the brunch spot on Friday, Dec. 3, and the restaurant posted an explanation on its Instagram channel Saturday that read: “The restaurant is a safe space. The presence of the officers’ weapons in the restaurant made us feel uncomfortable. We respect the San Francisco Police Department and are grateful for the work they do. We welcome them into the restaurant when they are off duty, out of uniform and without their weapons.”

Outcry soon followed on social media, including a response from San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, who said his department “stands for safety with respect, even when it means respecting wishes that our officers and I find discouraging and personally disappointing.”

The restaurant owners backtracked on Sunday with the apology on Instagram.

“We made a mistake and apologize for the unfortunate incident on Friday when we asked members of the San Francisco Police Department to leave our restaurant,” said Sillcocks and Liedags Compton. “We are grateful to all members of the force who work hard to keep us safe, especially during these challenging times.”