Tapioca pearls, the chewy balls in bubble tea drinks, are typically made in huge factories in China, Taiwan, and Japan. But now, SF’s Boba Guys makes its own. Boba Guys founders Andrew Chau and Bin Chen have opened an 18,000-square-food tapioca pearl factory called US Boba Company in Hayward. The new, Bay Area-produced pearls have been in local locations since August, and by the end of the year, they’ll be in all 12 Boba Guys across the country. The pearls will also be a little smaller, sized optimally for the company’s switch to compostable straws once San Francisco’s ban on single-use plastic straws goes into effect next July. The New York Times has a step-by-step look at how the boba gets made.
UC Berkeley pub returns
Bear’s Lair Tavern is now open, after closing this summer when the Red Door Group took over. The redesigned, counter-service space most notably now features a menu by chef David Lawrence (1300 on Fillmore). Highlights include Lawrence’s fried chicken sandwich, chimichurri grilled salmon with quinoa, and sambal chili-honey chicken wings with wasabi. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Bunn Mike expands
SF’s Bunn Mike is bringing more Vietnamese sandwiches to North Beach soon. The banh mi spot — which already has another North Beach location on Columbus Avenue as well as a post in Potrero Hill — is scheduled to open at 100 Green Street on October 1. The space used to be Green Box.
Food for tourists
Part of a new shipping container development in Fisherman’s Wharf, Fire & Brew has opened at 81 Jefferson Street. The American restaurant’s grand opening menu offers a few burgers and 22 local beers on draft — you can even order a burger flight with your beer flight.