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Amazon Go Wants to Open a FiDi Coffee Shop

Also: Zeitgeist has reopened, and more news to start your day

Amazon Go Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Amazon Go has closed one of its SF stores, and plans to reopen it as a hot food and espresso shop

According to the SF Chronicle, the Amazon Go convenience store at 300 California Street has shuttered for “renovations” only 16 months after it opened with refrigerated shelves stocked with salads, snacks, and even (good luck!) sushi.

The store’s seen a change in its operations since then, as it opened as a business that employed no check-out staff and refused to take cash. That plan was quashed by a law approved by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors, which, citing inclusion and accessibility concerns, requires that all local businesses accept cash. Amazon publicly announced that it would comply with the law, which took effect last August.

A look at building permits filed for the 300 California Street Amazon Go doesn’t reveal any significant renovations, but requests new signage: According to documents filed on January 24, the business will add two “illuminated double-faced projecting sign”s that read “Amazon Go.” The company — which, at present, only has permission to operate 300 California as a retail location, not as a place that prepares and sells food — has also filed a permit request with the Department of Public Health to serve “hot food, fountain sodas, and espresso,” the Chron reports.

According to an email sent to customers, patrons should expect “new features and flavors” when the store reopens this spring. They might not be the only San Franciscans that can soon expect “new features and flavors” from Amazon, as in June the retail giant applied to open a teeny-tiny liquor store storefront in its 888 Tennessee Street fulfillment center, in the hopes that the retail location would allow it to deliver booze to San Francisco’s thirstiest Prime Now patrons.

In a statement sent to Eater SF, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the closure, saying “our Amazon Go store at California & Battery is temporarily closed for renovations to add seating as well as new selection for our customers, including drip coffee, espresso, fountain beverages, and hot foods. The store will reopen in the spring.”

And in other news...

  • Local TV anchor Dion Lim has a very enthusiastic take on Hotella Nutella, that Napa “pop-up hotel” devoted to the hazelnut spread. [ABC 7]
  • Workers at SF-based grocery delivery company Instacart are starting to unionize, and its management is (unsurprisingly) hustling to quash the effort with some textbook busting-style tactics. [Vice]
  • The Shake Shack in Santa Clara is poised to open, bringing the East Coast chain’s Bay Area invasion to four open locations and at least three more incoming. [East Bay Times]
  • After a brief closure for seismic retrofitting, Mission picnic table bar Zeitgeist is back to its usual roster of fancy cocktails and service with a smile. [SF Gate]
  • Community gardeners in the redeveloped lands of the Hunters Point Naval shipyard won’t be allowed to plant in the area’s soil, and food they grow must have an “impermeable” barrier between it and the area’s controversial ground. [NBC Bay Area]
  • SF-based chocolatier Recchiuti gets Wirecutter’s painfully-tested nod for best boxed chocolates. [Wirecutter]
  • Local vintner, restaurateur, and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola hasn’t made any movies worthy of Oscar contention in a good, long while, but his limited-edition Sonoma County Russian River Valley wines will be poured at the bar that serves the stars at this year’s Academy Awards. [NY Times]