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Bar Owner Says Union Square Should be ‘Preserved’ From Homeless People

Also: Some NorCal restaurants are flouting coronavirus shutdown rules, and more news to know today

Outside of Bartlett Hall
The owner of bar Bartlett Hall says that the city should house homeless folks on Van Ness or Lombard, not near his business in Union Square
Bartlett Hall/Instagram

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your midday roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • Richard Leider, the owner of Union Square area brewpub Bartlett Hall, is asking Mayor London Breed to block the city’s purchase of a Geary Street hotel for use as supportive housing for homeless people. According to the SF Examiner, Leider, whose bar’s website claims it “captures the essence of San Francisco,” says “I am not a NIMBY reaction. I am just being conscientious in trying to preserve a shopping district that is a jewel of the city.” He suggested that San Francisco should instead purchase hotels on Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street, where residents would be far from his backyard.
  • Mountain View coffee shop Red Rock Coffee has been saved from the brink of closure, Palo Alto Online reports. Its owners at church organization Highway Community have sold it to an anonymous buyer, and the $98K it raised via GoFundMe will be returned to donors.
  • The artists behind the iconic mural on the side of beloved LGBTQ+ bar the Stud are suing the bar’s former landlord, SF Weekly reports. After the bar lost its home this May, its building owners, City Commercial Investments, LLC, whitewashed the spot, a move that the artists say is a violation of the federal Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990.
  • Andy Wiederhorn, the CEO of ghost restaurant company FAT Brands Inc., says that he’s not sure that ghost kitchen companies like Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s Cloudkitchens are here to stay. “The jury’s still out on how successful ghost kitchens will be over the long haul,” he tells the SF Business Times, as “I don’t think we’re at a point where ghost kitchens can be fairly evaluated.”
  • Hassan Azad, the owner of San Jose’s Flames Eatery and Bar, says the pandemic has put him $300K in debt, including $127K in back rent, alone. [ABC 7]
  • Though its COVID-19 numbers are getting higher every day, restaurants in Yuba City remain open for indoor dining, in defiance of state health orders. [KPIX]