D.C. Crime Crisis: Restaurateur Spends $4K a Week on Guarded Security for Taco Stand

Ty'won Gordon eats outside of Surfside Taco Stand in Washington, DC on April 15, 2023
Craig Hudson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Washington, DC, restaurateur Bo Blair spends more than $4,000 a week on guarded protection for his taco stand “Surfside” to prevent crime from discouraging business, per a Tuesday report.

The hefty security reflects the Democrat-controlled city’s ongoing crime crises, according to 2023 police statistics:

  • 93 percent increase in carjackings
  • 40 percent increase in violent crime
  • 34 percent increase in homicides

“Think about it, private security at a taco stand,” Blair told Axios. “It’s like the Wild West.”

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Surfside is not the only restaurant footing the bill for a lack of safety in the district. According to Axios:

  • The Point restaurant has “increased its security spending to around $200,000 annually.”
  • Blair’s restaurant group, Georgetown Events, “has spent over $92,000 this year between their D.C. venues.”

Restaurant groups “cannot continue to pay what we’re paying for security” to fend off crime that occurs “on a daily basis,” Blair said.

“We have to pay for security to make employees feel safe. Once an incident happens, turnover is high, and we’re spending time and money on more training — it’s like a hamster wheel,” he added.

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Philadelphia Police Department / LOCAL NEWS X /TMX

While crime rages in the district that some call a “war zone,” the district-controlled city spent more than $270,000 of taxpayer funds on repainting Black Lives Matter Plaza after defunding the police department’s 2023 budget:

  • City officials decreased the police department’s 2023 budget by 1.7 percent from 2022.
  • The 2023 budget is $100 million less than 2020’s budget.

District crime does not just impact local restaurants and taxpayers. In 2023, the crime crisis impacted five high-profile people, including President Joe Biden’s granddaughter.

Follow Wendell Husebø on “X” @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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