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Mason Pacific and Chef Max Mackinnon Break Up, and More A.M. Intel

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Mason Pacific Patricia Chang

Five months in, chef Max Mackinnon departs Mason Pacific

It’s been a bit of a rocky year for Mason Pacific, which closed for four months this spring after a fire, reopening seemingly better than ever under new head chef Max Mackinnon. Five months later, though, Mackinnon is moving on, leaving the wine-focused, so-called neighborhood restaurant behind. Both Mason Pacific and Mackinnon declined to explain the split, but owners Jay Thomson and Shannon McTiernan Thomson seemed supportive of the decision, based on a statement. Mackinnon, whose food received 2 1/2 stars from Chron critic Michael Bauer and Michelin Bib Gourmand status, has his next move in the works; stay tuned for more details.

Souvla Hayes is getting a refresh

After two-and-a-half years of endless lines for rotisserie salads and Greek frozen yogurt, the original Souvla on Hayes Street will close from January 1 to January 11 for a refresh. Nothing major — just a fresh coat of paint, some new tiles, and bathroom updates — and don’t worry, you can still get your Souvla fix at the Divisadero location and through delivery.

Premier Cru owner gets embezzlement jail sentence

It’s been a long, winding road in Berkeley wine shop Premier Cru’s $45 million embezzlement situation, which at last update left off with owner John Fox pleading guilty to wire fraud in August, allegedly using a portion of that money to pay young women he was dating outside of his marriage. Now, Fox has been sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison. Berkeleyside has all the details.

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