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Contra Costa County Rolls Back Restaurant Reopening

Also: Local Dungeness crab is off the Thanksgiving menu, and more news to know today

Restaurants in Contra Costa County must cut dining room capacity from 50 percent to 25, its health officer said Wednesday.
Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP 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.

  • The nationwide spike in coronavirus cases has prompted Contra Costa County to decrease dining room capacity, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The region reopened for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity in September, and moved up to 50 percent capacity (with a maximum of 200 people) on October 27. But at a press conference on November 5, Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano ordered restaurants to drop back to 25 percent, for a maximum of 100 diners, saying that as soon as restrictions relaxed, a local spike began.
  • As expected, the start of California’s commercial Dungeness crab fishing season has been delayed until December, a decision that extends from “Mendocino County north of San Francisco to the Mexican border,” KPIX reports. The delay was decided on after aerial surveys from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife observed endangered turtles and whales in the crab fishing zone, suggesting that the protected beasts might be harmed if fishing started at the previously-planned date of November 15. The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations supports the delay, with executive director Mike Conroy saying that “If we had rushed to go fish now with the high number of whales in the area, and if we had entangled the whales, that … could have resulted in a zone closure for the entire season.”
  • SF Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho paid a visit to Hayes Valley’s Dumpling Home. She has high praise for its soup dumplings, but be warned: the items are only available for on-site dining. Guess that means that folks who are sticking to takeout will have something to look forward to when the pandemic ends.
  • Prop 22, the tech-backed ballot measure intended to ensure that food delivery and ride hail drivers are denied employee benefits, prevailed in California, but in San Francisco the story was different, 48 Hills reports. In SF — the home of the apps who pushed the measure — 60 percent of voters opposed the prop. An election results map made by Chris Arvin drills even further into what neighborhoods across the city were down with Prop 22, with spots like Sea Cliff, the Marina, and SoMa voting in favor, while much of the rest of the city voted against.
  • The Vegan Hood Chefs, a Bayview-based catering and takeout business from longtime San Franciscans Ronnishia Johnson and Rheema Calloway, will be getting some televised praise during the SF 49ers’ game against the Green Bay Packers on November 6. As part of their “Bud Light Thursday Night Shoutout” program, the beer brand will air an ad profiling the local business, which you can watch here now.
  • Female sommeliers across the country have harsh words for the Napa-based Court of Master Sommeliers, several members of which were recently implicated in a sexual harassment scandal. [SF Chronicle]