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Judge Shutters Oakland’s Infamous ‘Dog Diaper’ McDonalds

Also: The Stud’s iconic mural was destroyed at a troubling time, and more news to start your day

A pedestrian walks past an American fast-food hamburger...
An judge has ordered an Oakland McDonald’s to remain closed after 11 employees fell ill with COVID-19
Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The owner of an Oakland McDonald’s can’t reopen his restaurant until he can prove that employees will be kept safe

A judge has ordered an Oakland McDonald’s that made headlines for allegedly telling employees to make masks out of coffee filters and dog diapers to remain closed, the East Bay Times reports. The restaurant at 4514 Telegraph Avenue has been a battleground since May, when workers went on strike, saying that its owner did not provide them with protective equipment or protocols to slow the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), and required employees to come to work even when they fell ill.

By late May, the workers say, six employees has tested positive for COVID-19, spurring a formal complaint with the Alameda County Public Health Department. By mid-June, that number had grown to 11 positive cases that spread to 35 people, prompting a lawsuit from workers against McDonald’s franchisee Michael Smith, who owns that and several other East Bay locations of the restaurant.

Bloomberg reports that Judge Patrick McKinney has issued a temporary restraining order against the controversial McDonald’s. which has been shuttered since employees began their strike action on May 26. McKinney says that it must remain shut until it can prove that it has adopted a series of protective measures for employees including physical distancing, temperature checks, and an adequate supply of masks and gloves.

Smith, who has previously denied the employee allegations, says “We have put together a reopening plan that addresses essentially all of the court’s concerns and was approved by the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health last week.” Both sides will return to court on July 2.

And in other news...

  • The Stud, San Francisco’s oldest queer bar and the site of a massive mural celebrating LGBTQ life, moved out of its SoMa home at the end of May. The building’s owners painted over those murals earlier this week, just as the city started to gear up for the 50th anniversary of SF’s Pride celebration. [SF Weekly]
  • Some of the East Bay’s most iconic bars found new ways to generate revenue during the pandemic, while others have closed completely, hunkering down until the dangers have passed. [Berkeleyside]
  • Palo Alto’s City Council has agreed to close University Avenue — the city’s main drag — to traffic to allow outdoor dining all summer long. [Palo Alto Online]
  • Estela’s Donburi, a Lower Nob Hill restaurant that began as a sandwich shop and pivoted to Japanese rice bowls last year, has closed for good. [Hoodline]
  • Going wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma is “sterile, highly regimented and more than a little eerie,” says wine critic Esther Mobley. [SF Chronicle]
  • Kokak Chocolates, a shop that serves coffee and chocolate drinks alongside bon-bons and candy, just opened in the Castro. [Hoodline]