Julius’ Castle rises again, again
The 1923-founded, now long-vacant SF restaurant Julius’ Castle can move forward after a judge threw out a legal challenge to the business. A group of neighbors concerned about noise and traffic launched the complaint after current owner Paul Scott received Planning Commission approval in 2017 to reopen the business, which he bought in 2012. It’s clearly been a long road, but “we’re very happy to have this chapter of the saga behind us,” Scott tells Eater SF. “Now we can finally get on selecting an operator and doing the final renovations to restore the Castle to its former glory.”
Verjus adds speedy lunch prix fixe
Verjus, Jackson Square’s coolest new natural wine bar and restaurant (from the Cotogna/Quince team) is adding a new, three-course fixed menu option for lunch diners: A “Menu à Toute Vitesse” that’s a speedy, $31 daytime choice. Right now it’s asparagus to start, then Watson Farm lamb leg, then rhubarb clafoutis and creme fraiche ice cream for dessert, with an optional $12 wine pairing (two 1/2 glass pours). Try it from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday — or order a la carte, which is still available.
Mark Bittman starts a new digital food rag
Former NYT food writer Mark Bittman is alive and well and founding an online food magazine on the web platform Medium, which has entered one of its cyclical growth spurts. Bittman confides to the Times that since his departure from the paper and move to the Bay Area to work on vegan meal kit company Purple Carrot, which he’s since left behind, he’s felt professionally forgotten. No more: The magazine, called Salty, is online now, with pieces from writers including Tunde Wey and Bittman himself.
Great SF restaurants to work for
Two SF spots made the cut for Food & Wine’s very cool list of “19 Great Restaurants to Work For,” a roundup that emphasizes how restaurants are, you know, businesses with employees who need to be treated well. Bini’s Kitchen — Binita Pradhan’s Nepalese food business with a downtown stall and a forthcoming SoMa restaurant — was lauded for paying its full-time staff of 14 their regular wages during training hours. And Cala, run by Gabriela Cámara, earned a spot for offering affordable health insurance to all of its 45 employees. What a coincidence that both Cala and Bini’s are led by women, like many of the other spots on the list.