Brawl at Pike Place Market restaurant patio sparks safety concerns

SEATTLE — A viral video showed a brawl on the patio of a restaurant at Pike Place Market on Saturday.

The man who started the fight is believed to have been homeless.

Restaurant owners told KIRO 7′s Ryan Simms that similar incidents are a reality of having patio seating and it is happening as the city’s homeless crisis appears to be worsening.

The brawl seemed to shatter the serenity of Saturday brunch for many.

In the video that KIRO 7 received, half a dozen people joined in to help stop the man believed to be homeless and violent.

“It’s gonna really affect them big time, because who’s gonna want to go to a restaurant or sit outside on their patio and feel ‘am I safe here,’” said Daniel Ceballos, one of the owners of Taqueria Cantina.

Video of the incident at Bacco Cafe circulated quickly.

Ceballos witnessed the incident and also speaks from experience as he said his restaurant has been targeted by aggressive homeless people several times.

“Us business owners, all the community, we need to stick together and let the city know we need more help,” Ceballos said.

Another growing problem that has been plaguing the area is panhandlers who have been demanding free and costly perks.

“‘Well, I just want something to drink.’ OK, let’s get you some water and get you on your way. ‘No, I don’t want water, I want beer,’” Ceballos explained what panhandlers have requested.

Ceballos said incidents similar to Saturday’s are also costly because so much summertime business is centered on dining al fresco.

“It’s a huge part. If you think about it, I’m bringing all my restaurant outside. And if I’m bringing all my restaurant outside, that’s all my business for the summer,” Ceballos said.

While no one was seriously hurt in the incident, the biggest injury could be in the restaurant’s efforts to attract customers.

KIRO 7 reached out to Bacco’s assistant manager, who did not want to talk on camera. He did confirm that similar incidents are occurring often and that it is becoming increasingly tough to have patio seating.