Welcome to p.m. Intel, your lunchtime (or so) roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Broke Ass Cooks, the trio of laid-off chefs who started an illicit takeout restaurant from their home, has become a media darling during the pandemic, with coverage on Berkeleyside, the Merc, the Chron, and many more publications. They (perhaps unsurprisingly) also garnered the attention of the Alameda County Health Department, Berkeleyside reports, which just shut the operation down. Co-owner Hoang Le tells the SF Chronicle that this coming weekend was set to be their biggest yet, and that the crackdown is “insane now given the current situation in the pandemic.”
- A slew of closing news broke in the last 24 hours, here’s a lightning round: Prominent SF restaurateur Thad Vogler says that his restaurants Obispo, Trou Normand, and Nommo, all of which closed at the beginning of the pandemic, will not reopen, the SF Chronicle reports. Downtown Oakland restaurant Tribune Tavern will close for good on Friday, Berkeleyside reports, after just a year in business, as they say their landlord refused any pandemic-related rent negotiations. Finally, the Ritual Coffee Roasters at 2299 Market Street permanently closed on Monday, Hoodline reports, with owner Eileen Rinaldi saying that “we just weren’t seeing the numbers to support this location.”
- The owners of beachside diner Louis’, which closed after 83 years in business this past June, were on CNN last night, part of a story on restaurants that sustained the Great Depression, only to shutter in the pandemic.
- In a wide-ranging discussion reported on by the Bay Area Reporter, Castro District nightlife figures say that they’ve seen both micro and overt expressions of racism at bars in the area.
- Mission Local has an update on Murat Celebi, who longtime San Franciscans might remember at the Amuse Bouche street cart guy who was unceremoniously deported from the U.S. eleven years ago.
- Food critic Soleil Ho notes that all three of these Instagram pastry businesses are (like Broke Ass Cooks) operating without official sanctions, so here’s hoping the fuzz doesn’t read the Chron.
- Berkeley taqueria Flacos is the only NorCal restaurant to make PETA’s “Top 10 Latinx-Owned Vegan Restaurants” list. [East Bay Times]
- Bay Area restaurant owners say that these days, they don’t really give a hoot about Michelin stars. [SF Chronicle]