The latest seismic retrofit casualty
Radio Habana social club, a quirky Valencia Street cafe with great sangria and catch-as-catch-can hours, has closed for a mandatory seismic retrofit. It’s the most recent in a slew of businesses shuttered for the earthquake safety upgrades required by the city (there’s upcoming deadline that could be responsible for the flurry of closures). Radio Habana’s owners are fundraising their lost income during the renovations (which could take months) to help them return afterward. And last weekend they sold off items from their strange and cool art collection at nearby cafe Manny’s, earning almost $1,000.
Excelsior empanadas maker goes on a Mission District buying spree
The space at 3372 19th Street occupied for decades by Bissap Baobab has a new owner: Peruvian empanadas maker El Porteño Chifa Peruana. They’re located in the Excelsior— and not to be confused with another empanadas maker also called El Porteño (located in the Ferry Building and elsewhere). El Porteño purchased the Baobab space from owner Marco Senghor, who struck a plea deal last week in an immigration case that’s embroiled him and the restaurant. Baobab will close — it’s unclear when — but its neighbor, Little Baobab, will remain. Meanwhile, El Porteño Chifa Peruana also purchased another nearby building, the home of Alba Ray’s on Mission Street. Alba Ray’s, a Cajun restaurant, has no immediate plans to move, but just dedicated itself to weekend brunch only while it changes concepts.
White Rabbit adds live music
Marina District cocktail parlor White Rabbit, decorated with nods to the space’s musical history as an historic live venue, is now a venue again, sort of. At least it is on Wednesday nights, when a new music series from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A play set in refugee camp’s restaurant
The Jungle has transformed San Francisco’s Curran theater into a replica of a refugee camp in Calais, France — specifically, the Afghan restaurant at that refugee camp. That’s where playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson visited, in 2015, to interview refugees from all over the world as they made their makeshift home. The Jungle opened last night, with theatergoers sitting at tables in the “restaurant” while the performance surrounds them. It runs through May 19.