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Downtown Restaurants Board Up Windows in Anticipation of Election Night Unrest

Also: Bay Area wine figures are implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, and more news to know today

Preparations for Election Unrest
Restaurants and bars in San Francisco are boarding up their windows in preparation for election night unrest
Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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.

  • A sheet of 4x8 foot plywood will run you about $40, at least 20 times less than what it’ll cost to replace a shattered window or door. That’s why restaurants, bars, and businesses across San Francisco are boarding up their windows this week, in anticipation of whatever civil unrest might go down on election night or the days following, KPIX reports. According to the San Francisco Police Department, there’s no word of any protests planned by either side of the contentious battle, but you’d have to be a super sweet summer child not to know that supporters of President Trump and former Vice-President Biden are all prepared for their personal version of “the worst.” Speaking with the SF Chronicle, SF’s Union Square Business Improvement District says that it expects 75 percent of its tenants to cover over their windows, with executive director Karin Flood saying “given events of this past spring and summer, it is not an unexpected precaution.”
  • A national scandal at the Americas chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers has some significant local ties. The group faces allegations of “a pattern of harassment, sexual abuse, and rape,” reports, claims revealed in a bombshell New York Times investigation that recounts the first-hand accounts of 21 women. Implicated in the allegations are several local figures, the SF Chronicle notes, including Petaluma-based master sommelier Geoff Kruth, “Robert Bath, a professor at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena; Matt Stamp, owner of Compline restaurant in Napa; and Fred Dame, a San Francisco resident who works for Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles.”
  • Politico has the word on a bizarre Department of Health and Human Services effort that involved NorCal celebrity chef Guy Fieri. According to the publication, HHS used a significant portion of a $300 million campaign PSA campaign called “Helping the President Will Help the Country” to create a spreadsheet entitled the “PSA Celebrity Tracker” to list potential participants in the campaign (as well as their political leanings). Vanity Fair notes that Fieri is listed as “overcommitted,” on the list, and asks “did these people spend millions of dollars” to determine that the restaurant-owning, TV show-hosting guardian of an alleged 400 goats was super busy? As writer Kenzie Bryant puts it, “I could have told you that for free!”
  • Tadich Grill, the classic San Francisco restaurant that opened in 1849 and closed down in July, has reversed course on a reopening it announced in October. Owner Michael Buich says that the city’s decision to pause reopening and keep indoor dining at 25 percent capacity means reopening doesn’t make financial sense. [SF Chronicle]
  • Eloteros, the street corn vendors you’ll see in high-foot-traffic areas across the Bay Area, can’t afford to stop working even as COVID-19 rages through the Latinx community. [Golden Gate X-Press]