SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Neighbors in North Beach are rallying to oppose two-high profile evictions, one of an aging local celebrity and the other of a popular corner cafe.
They’re preparing posters for a demonstration at Caffe Sapore Thusrday morning. The cafe owner says after 23 years, the landlord sent him a termination letter with no explanation.
“They wouldn’t tell me what they’re going to do with the place, so basically she just wants the space back,” said Elias Bikahi.
KPIX reached out to the property owner, Annie Ng, but she did not return our calls.
“We’re living in a period of unparalleled greed and heartlessness,” said San Francisco supervisor Aaron Peskin.
Just half a block from the cafe, 86-year-old Sam Hiona is also being evicted. The former TV and film actor who appeared in the hit ’70s television series ‘Kung Fu’ and the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers has lived in the same apartment since 1965.
Supporters packed a court hearing Tuesday as Hiona asked the judge for more time to appeal his eviction.
“I’m really happy that they came out to support us,” he said.
Janice Lee and Tom Hua are the landlords. “We plan to live there,” they said.
When asked about the moral thoughts behind evicting someone as old as Hiona, Lee said, “Well, we need the entire space for our entire family to move into, and that’s the reason why we purchased this property.”
The couple insists they bought the property so they and their extended family could move in, which includes three elderly parents who range in age from their 60s to 80s.
“My parents, my family are refugees. We came here with nothing. And I have this overwhelming desire to take care of them. To provide for them. It’s unfortunate that, you know, it’s not a perfect thing,” Hua said.
Hiona and his wife will be allowed to stay in their small apartment on Taylor Street at least for a few more weeks as they await the judge’s decision.