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SFO Becomes First Airport to Ban Plastic Water Bottle Sales

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And it’s getting a robot barista, too

Inside SFO Dion Hinchclif/Flickr

No liquids, no bottles

SFO is banning the sale of plastic water bottles inside its terminals starting August 20, meaning travelers are encouraged to bring their own bottles — emptied before security check, of course — for a drink while they travel. The policy follows an SF municipal government rule that bans the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property, the Chronicle reports. As of yesterday, there were still plenty of plastic water bottles for sale at the airport, but some vendors are already switching to cans, glass bottles, or boxed water, and there’s an exemption for flavored water, too.

SFO robot cafe

Speaking of SFO and innovation, Austin-based robot cafe barista startup Briggo just opened its first Bay Area location in the airport. Customers order drinks on an app or a touch screen, and Briggo’s barista bot — a competitor to local Cafe X — will whip up coffee drinks, as many as 100 per hour. It’s inside Terminal 3 near gate 72.

Major SPQR split

Managing partner and SPQR co-founder Shelley Lindgren — she of A16 and wine world fame — has divested from her Michelin-starred Fillmore Street restaurant. SPQR executive chef Matthew Accarrino, who has held that title since 2009, will take over more of the business’ operations, Tablehopper reports. Lindgren will turn her focus to A16’s San Francisco and Rockridge locations, as well as her forthcoming book, The New Italian Wine, with Kate Leahy.

Portals Tavern will close in August

A 1937-opened neighborhood bar, Portals Tavern at 179 West Portal Ave, will closed in August. The building has been sold to a new landlord, who has declined to renew the bar’s lease. Owners Don Gorwky and Mary King-Gorwky are sad to see it go, but ready for retirement, they tell the Chronicle. Stop by for a farewell beverage through the end of the month.