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The Man Behind SF’s Bar and Restaurant Shutdowns Is Leaving Town

Also: How delivery apps will suffer when the pandemic ends, and more news to know today

SF health officer Dr. Tomás Aragón is leaving the city for a new job in Sacramento
Tomás J. Aragón/Twitter

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

  • Dr. Tomás Aragón, who the SF Chronicle once described as “SF’s most powerful person in pandemic response,” is headed to Sacramento. Since 2010, he’s been the city’s health officer, which means that he’s been the final decision-maker on what’s been allowed to open and forced to close since the coronavirus crisis began. It’s a set of powers that SF’s City Attorney even laid out in May, after conflicts arose over who got to call the county’s COVID-19 shots. This morning, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that Aragón has been appointed Director of the California Department of Public Health, replacing acting director Sandra Shewry. His appointment requires state Senate confirmation, but it’s all but a done deal. So if bars and restaurants across the state want to know what the rest of the pandemic might look for them with Aragón making the decisions, they’d best look at how things have gone down in SF.
  • Dominique Crenn, Californios chef Val Cantu, and Commis chef James Syhabout are headed to Manresa for a December series of special takeout meals. [Bay Area News Group]
  • Delivery apps like SF-based Doordash have been wildly busy during the pandemic, which means that their current level of revenue might face a steep dive when things return to normal. [CNN]
  • People in busy neighborhoods like the Marina District say they’re glad outdoor dining is shutting down, with one saying “I mean I’ve been down here when it’s been like Spring Break and it just doesn’t make any sense at all.” [KRON 4]
  • 18-year-old Loma Prieta Winery, the nation’s largest producer of pinotage, has been sold to Chris Arriaga, a former U.S. Marshal turned real estate developer. [Bay Area News Group]
  • SF chef Dominique Crenn says her “idol” is Coco Chanel, the fashion designer known for her namesake couture house and role as a Nazi agent during the Holocaust and World War II. [British Vogue]

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