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Chef Accused of Sexual Harassment Causes Turmoil After Return to Farmer’s Market

Plus new menus, a matcha ice cream collaboration, and more a.m. intel

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Disgraced restaurateur attempts to return to the restaurant community

Oakland restaurateur Charlie Hallowell, who is accused of sexual harassment by dozens of female employees, is stoking controversy with his return to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market as a shopper. Hallowell stepped away from the daily operations of his restaurant group following those allegations in December 2017; he recently sold two restaurants, Boot & Shoe Service and Penrose, to former employees. His return to the market, the East Bay restaurant community’s de facto “town square,” received mixed reactions from Bay Area farmers and the chefs who frequent it, many of whom feel Hallowell has not earned the right to rejoin the community. Hallowell reportedly displayed inappropriate behavior at the market in the past. Read all about it here.

The Chairman closes its Tenderloin brick-and-mortar

After three years on Larkin, the permanent location of food truck favorite Chairman Bao has closed its doors and returned to the streets. The restaurant will continue to serve its signature lineup of bao from its fleet of food trucks, and at its location in Los Angeles. A sign taped to the door of the shuttered restaurant says to “stay tuned” as they’ll be “launching a new location shortly.”

Stonemill Matcha and Smitten Ice Cream have teamed up

Matcha verbena is the newest flavor to join the lineup at SF’s popular freeze-to-order ice cream shop, Smitten, courtesy of matcha haven Stonemill Matcha. The flavor combines premium Japanese matcha with verbena and Smitten’s ice cream base. The flavor is avaible starting now, and will be available through early October (the end of San Francisco’s actual summer).

Oakland’s Contrasto is making some changes

Chef Alessandro Campitelli, former chef/owner of SF’s Chiaroscuro, launched his permanent pop-up Contrasto in Kitchen 388’s former home in spring of 2017, debuting a menu of “modern Roman cuisine.” Now Campitelli is doing away with his four-course prix fixe, adding a selection of small plates, and larger mains for sharing, like whole fish. Expect some light remodeling to accompany the new menu, including the addition of a lounge area for enjoying wine and snacks, new paint, and lighting. The new menu will drop in the coming weeks.

Fans of the Board can soon enjoy a beer alongside that cheeseburger

After a summer schedule, Deli Board owner Adam Mesnick will offer new hours at his larger sandwich sanctuary, the Board. Starting August 15, it’ll be open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.; once the restaurant’s impending liquor license goes through, evening service will be introduced with less sandwich-related items and more hearty options like soups, salads, double cheeseburgers, wings, nachos, and more.