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Masked Intruder Might Have Tried to Burn Down Ghost Kitchen in San Francisco

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Also: A NorCal sandwich shop shutters over its owner’s comments on Black Lives Matter, and more news to start your day

Daily Life During The Coronavirus Pandemic In Canada
Delivery drivers, like this DoorDash worker in Ontario, Canada, often pack the SoMa alley of ghost kitchen startup CloudKitchens
Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

A SoMa ghost kitchen owned by CloudKitchens, a startup founded by ousted Uber head Travis Kalanick, might have been targeted by an arsonist last week

Firefighters were called to a well-publicized SoMa warehouse occupied by ghost kitchen startup CloudKitchens twice last week, after two blazes — at least one of which police are investigating as a possible arson — were reported in the space.

The Saudi-funded startup, which was started by Uber founder Travis Kalanick and which seeks to purchase (per TechCrunch) “underutilized real estate” through a company called City Storage Systems, is known for converting industrial spaces into food preparation facilities. Those facilities then pass food — much of it presented as coming from the kitchens of recognizable restaurants — on to delivery drivers for apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash. Some of that “underutilized real estate” was apparently at 60 Morris Street, where CloudKitchens is home to several delivery-only versions of popular restaurants, like Little Star Pizza, Little Chihuahua, and Belcampo Meat Co.

(Side note: if you’re interested in checking the Department of Public Health’s food safety scores for 60 Morris Street, you won’t find any results. Instead, a DPH spokesperson tells Eater SF, search for 475 Sixth Street using the exact search term “475 06th” Then, and only then, will you find a list of the 26 restaurant brands whose names are on food delivered from from the warehouse.)

According to tweets from CloudKitchens, a masked and hooded man “disconnected & destroyed the security cameras in the facility” last week. A “fire started in the facility prior to his exiting,” they say, and the following day, another fire was reported at the same building. No one was injured in either blaze, and a San Francisco Police Department spokesperson who spoke with Bloomberg said that officers were dispatched to the building, where they “found evidence of fire damage.” An investigation has since been opened in the case, the SFPD’s officer Robert Rueca says, but no arrests have been made.

And in other news...

  • Mickey Mann, the franchisee of a Mr. Pickle sandwich shop in the NorCal city of Davis, was stripped of his store after he emailed employees saying that “The BLM is the flip side of the KKK. Their tactics are out of the Mafia play book. They are no better that (sic) some of the worst oppressive regimes in the world.” [ABC 10] Oddly enough, SF Mayor London Breed also compared Black Lives Matter protesters who gathered outside her home as “reminiscent of what the Ku Klux Klan did” in a recent interview, saying “They were chanting ‘Black Lives Matter’ after 11 o’clock at night with this fire, with their ranting and raving...And I couldn’t help but think ‘you’re doing this for Black lives?’” [KQED]
  • Local bars that rely on live music and events see an uncertain future, as gatherings won’t be safe for a long, long time. [Riff]
  • Burger spot Popsons has closed its Market Street location, as owner Alvin Garcia says it had been struggling since its opening in 2016. “Wrong timing, wrong neighborhood, many factors played into it [and] it just didn’t work out for us,” Garcia says. [SF Gate]
  • Mac’ N Cheese Shop, a takeout and delivery-only custom comfort food kitchen, has opened inside two spots: San Jose restaurant Meso, and Menlo Park’s Left Bank Brasserie. [East Bay Times]
  • Fisherman’s Wharf seafood restaurant Scoma’s is squabbling over the use of its parking lot with Pioneer Seafoods, a boat docked nearby that sells fresh-caught fish. [KPIX]
  • San Francisco kicked off outdoor dining on Friday, and Mayor Breed marked the occasion with a media event at Bayview bar and restaurant Cafe Envy. [KRON 4]
  • Bruno’s, a 10-year-old neighborhood spot in Santa Rosa known for its packed Sunday brunches, has closed for good. [Santa Rosa Press-Democrat]

The Little Chihuahua

4123 24th Street, , CA 94114 (415) 648-4157 Visit Website

Little Star Pizza

1175 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706 (510) 526-7827 Visit Website

Popsons

998 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 658-7554 Visit Website

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