The Prop. 8 Trial -- Is Anyone Making a Buck Off It?

Categories: Law & Order
Harrington's Pub.jpg
Al Dinet, in the foreground, and Don Goodwin say the intensely covered Prop. 8 trial hasn't led to any additional folks heading into their favorite watering hole
Proponents of same-sex marriage maintain that the ongoing Proposition 8 trial at San Francisco's Federal Courthouse could be a historical step in establishing equality and dignity for all Americans.

Well, fair enough: But is there any money in it?

In the long-term -- yes. And in the short-term, it depends on whom you ask.

We wandered over to the businesses surrounding the Federal Courthouse and queried them if this trial was a boon to their financial trials. Some said yes. Most didn't.

Quynh Nguyen of Golden Gate Croissants, a pastry's throw from the courthouse, said "a little" bit of business came her way on Monday. But none yesterday (no surprise there -- not one demonstrator showed up. And nonexistent people don't buy croissants).

Her neighbor Wendy Lam of Wrap Delight, a Vietnamese restaurant, concurred that business was "good, good, good" on Monday -- perhaps a 30 percent boost. No bonus on Tuesday, though.

Ray Lee of Cafe Raimind hadn't even thought about whether he was getting a business boost or not. When we asked him to go over his receipts for us, he obligingly did so on the spot. "Not so 'Wow,'" he summed up for us. Just a standard day's take.

We'd have called local hotels to see if there was any spike in guests -- but, then, when you've already documented that no one showed up on day two and not so many people showed up on day one, that seemed unnecessary.

Finally, we wandered into Harrington's Pub across the street from the court. Even before 9 a.m., more than a dozen souls were already drinking and blazing away on cigarettes. The regulars told us that no folks in town for Prop. 8 had stopped by -- but the trial had given them something to talk about.

"I'd have joined the protest," said Al Dinet. "But, then, we got out of Vietnam."

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