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SF Promises Tougher Shelter-in-Place Enforcement After Raid of Allegedly Active Nightclub

Also: Fusion taqueria Mestiza has closed for good, and more news to start your day

Valentine’s Day Weekend at the Om Monthly at Mezzanine Night Club. San Francisco, California, USA. 2007
San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order requires nightclubs to close until at least May 3, putting events like this 2007 Valentine’s Day gathering at Mezzanine on hold for now.
Photo by: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Bay Area officials are starting to crack down on folks who violate the region’s shelter-in-place order, many of whom appear to be flouting the rules to enjoy booze and nightlife activities.

An allegedly illicit nightclub in San Francisco’s Bayview District was raided Saturday, but the impetus wasn’t its speakeasiness or lack of zoning permits — instead, said City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Police Chief William Scott via press release, the place was shut down because it violated the city’s current shelter-in-place order.

The club was allegedly being run out of 2266 Shafter Avenue, and contained “DJ equipment, two fog machines, nine gambling machines with $670 in cash inside, two pool tables, bins of liquor, cases of beer, bar furniture, and other nightclub-related items” when raided, police say. According the the City Attorney’s office, hundreds of people were seen entering the venue on evenings in late March and April, and “none practiced six feet of social distancing.”

Meanwhile, in Santa Cruz, Police Chief Andy Mills posted a photo of what he says were seven visitors from the East Bay town of Fremont who visited the coastal city “to get some ‘essential’ drinks.” They, too, were fined $1,000 each for violations of the region’s shelter-in-place, Mills says.

Speaking with ABC 7, San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin says, “We want to educate, we don’t want to enforce,” regarding shelter-in-place transgressions, but “We’re going to start stepping [citations] up like nobody’s business” if people refuse to honor the rules regarding distancing and remaining home. It’s news that at least one Mission District bar might be wise to heed: According to Mission Local, “reports have been trickling in” that a neighborhood watering hole has been serving smallish groups of customers in house, something that ceased only when a reporter arrived and started asking questions.

And in other news...

  • Mestiza Taqueria, a SoMa restaurant focused on Mexican/Filipino street food, has reportedly closed for good. [SF Chronicle]
  • “We don’t have any epidemiology pointing toward food or food packaging as a risk factor for getting Covid-19,” says food safety specialist Ben Chapman. “Federal agencies are really working on that every day to make sure that that’s correct.” [Vox]
  • If you’re unlucky enough to need to fly these days, better pack a lunch — most restaurants inside San Francisco International Airport are closed. [KPIX]
  • Now that San Francisco has instituted a cap on what delivery apps can charge restaurants, restaurants in other Bay Area cities are asking why they don’t get caps on their fees, too. [KRON 4]
  • A San Francisco man who says he’s been hoping to open a coffee shop is now offering free java to USPS and healthcare workers who pass by a window of his home. [ABC 7]
  • A man was arrested after allegedly attacking workers at two Pacheco restaurants Saturday night. Police say he slashed staffers at a Mexican spot and a pizzeria with scissors, then fled. [NBC Bay Area]
  • Berkeley’s Starry Plough Pub has dealt will all sorts of disasters since opening in 1973, but current manager Shahin Naima says that the coronavirus crisis might be the last straw. [KRON 4]
  • Four Chinese restaurants were vandalized across three Outer Richmond blocks on Friday, each left with smashed windows and without cash and (presumably, point-of-sale-supporting) tablets. [SF Gate]
  • What do food and booze critics do when bars and restaurants are closed for in-house consumption? Just like the rest of us, they order takeout. [SF Chronicle]