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Are Restaurants That Leave Heated Seating Outside Complying With SF’s Stay-At-Home Order?

Also: Sonoma County has decided to shut down, and more news to know today

California Coronavirus Shutdown Orders
If a restaurant leaves tables, chairs, and a blazing heater alight outside, is it still in compliance with California’s stay-at-home order?
Photo by Watchara Phomicinda/MediaNews Group/The Press-Enterprise via Getty Images

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • The owner of North Beach restaurant Original Joe’s, which was called out this week on reports of diners eating its food while seated in its heated parklet, tells KRON 4 that he’s totally following the city’s rules that only allow takeout and that “we’re not encouraging people to dine outside” but “at the same time, we’re never going to stop being hospitable and gracious to the customers we desperately need at this time to keep our lights on to survive and to keep our people employed.” According to the broadcast station, that hospitality means that “unlike other restaurants nearby, Original Joe’s left its tables, seats, and heat lamps out for customers.” A more overt protest of the shutdown is also planned for Friday, with an in-person rally of dubious wisdom reportedly planned outside SF City Hall at 4 p.m. today. Those who wish to register their dismay at the outdoor dining closure while remaining safe at home can do so via this email campaign promoted by local dining lobby the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which will send a pre-written letter to city officials demanding greater transparency and financial support for the industry.
  • Spiking coronavirus cases have prompted Sonoma County to enter into the statewide stay-at-home order even before it was mandated. An “alarming increase in cases and hospitalizations in recent days” has left area hospitals with ICU beds at 11.6 percent capacity. ABC 7 reports. As a result, officials say that the shutdown, which will close outdoor dining, bars, and wineries, among other activities, will kick in at 12:01 a.m. Saturday December 12, and will run through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, NBC Bay Area says.
  • Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company owner Kevin Chan is frustrated that Chinatown, where COVID-19 rates are a fraction of what they are elsewhere, is suffering as numbers skyrocket elsewhere in the city. “We did our part,” he says. “We wore our masks every day, but people wanted to go to bars and parties. Why do we have to suffer?” [The Guardian]
  • Here’s an explanation of why those gifts of wine you’re sending elsewhere have such hefty shipping costs. [SF Chronicle]
  • Activist and athlete Colin Kaepernick’s new non-dairy collab with Ben & Jerry’s is called “Change the Whirled,” and is a “caramel non-dairy frozen dessert with fudge chips, graham cracker swirls & chocolate cookie swirls.” Kaepernick’ proceeds from the partnership will benefit Oakland’s Know Your Rights camp, a non-profit the former SF 49er started to “advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities.” [KPIX]
  • Soleil Ho says that Vietnamese pop-up Claws of Mantis celebrates “the somewhat humiliating ephemera of 1990s Asian Americana.” [SF Chronicle]
  • Handcrafted chocolate operation Delphinium is the product of two pastry chefs laid off in the pandemic who now make botanically-inspired and seasonal treats. [Berkeleyside]