Four Barrel's Justin Teisl bears the injuries of a foiled boar burglary. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Tooker
When reports that four masked robberies had charged into Four Barrel last week and pilfered one of the four stuffed boar heads that have adorned the southern wall since the popular coffee shop's opening, people were skeptical. Only days before April Fool's, customers and news media alike assumed that the Four barreltheft could be a hoax perpetrated with the full knowledge of the Four Barrel staff. To a certain degree, the Great Four Barrel Boar Burglary (as we like to call it) was a hoax -- just one unbeknownst to the Four Barrel staff.
Weeks ago Amnesia owner Sean McGee approached Four Barrel head honcho Jeremy Tooker with the idea of auctioning off the stuffed boar head at a local school auction. Longtime friends with McGee, Tooker agreed, planning to remove the boar's head surreptitiously after closing one night, leaving only a chalk outline in it's place. "I just wanted to be able to walk in and say that line from The Royal Tenenbaums 'Where's my Javelina?'" Tooker said. McGee had other plans.
Tooker recounts the story: "So, Sean has the brilliant idea to stage a robbery. He gets his roommate and Josie Baker [the bread baker for the new Four Barrel Divisadero project] and a friend, and they put on motorcycle helmets and dress in all white and just walk in with a ladder and start taking the boar's head off the wall."
Four Barrel's staff had no knowledge of the caper, though, and as McGee and crew headed for the door, barista Justin Teisl took matters in to his own hands, tackling the would-be thieves and dragging them outside. In the process Teisl acquired impressive wounds on his arms. "Everyone in the cafe was screaming. Somebody kept yelling call 911. Justin Teisl is my hero," Tooker told SF Weekly.
McGee, who chipped a tooth in the fracas, was unmasked, the ploy was revealed, and the boar head was legitimately handed over for auction. Auctioned off by a disguise wearing McGee, the boar's head sold for 550 dollars to a girl named Violet.
A Four Barrel voyeur caught the whole crime on tape. We particularly love the frantic screams of "Call 911" followed by "Keep him, keep him, keep that fucker":