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Contra Costa County Could Reopen Indoor Dining Before San Francisco Does

Also: An alleged scofflaw bar is busted, and more news you need to know today

The dining room of new French restaurant Routier will remain empty for now, but restaurants in Contra Costa County will open indoor service as soon as the stats says they may.
Albert Law

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your midday (or so) roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • When Mayor London Breed called a press conference Tuesday morning to “provide an update on COVID-19 in San Francisco,” texts began to fly within the San Francisco restaurant community. Would today be the day that indoor dining was added to San Francisco’s reopening road map? After all, the state says SF can reopen dining rooms, chefs and publicisists reminded each other. That didn’t happen — instead, Breed noted that COVID-19 hospitalizations are on the rise in the city, and SF Department of Public Health director Grant Colfax said that “as people continue to move about the city and increase activities, we will likely experience an ongoing increase in cases.” So, no restaurant reopening news in SF today, but when Contra Costa County moves from the purple (widespread COVID-19 transmission) to join Sf in the red category (substantial), indoor dining will resume there, KPIX reports. That’s because “Contra Costa County Health officials have decided to align the county guidelines with the state, effectively doing away with any local restrictions,” a plan local officials say will simplify things for everyone.
  • East Bay sports bar Skorz isn’t just a spellcheck scofflaw, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office says. The bar’s owner was charged Monday for allegedly operating the business without a valid liquor license (it as suspended in early 2020, officials say), and was open to customers “as if it was business as usual,” the East Bay Times reports. Bay City News reports that investigators found patrons allegedly drinking inside the venue in mid-June.
  • San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors will mull a proposal today that would allow restaurants in North Breach to apply for full liquor licenses, the SF Examiner reports. The opportunity to sell cocktails might help struggling businesses, supporters say, and if the program is successful in North Beach, it could expand to other neighborhoods across the city.
  • Relax, everybody: Though build-your-own burger chain Fuddruckers is crumbling, its Bay Area locations remain open, the Bay Area News Group reports.
  • Beloved Mission dive bar El Rio has scored a grant from LGBTQ+ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign and cable channel Showtime. The amount of the grant is undisclosed, but is reportedly “in the five figures.” [Bay Area Reporter]
  • Palo Alto will expand its program to allow dining patios in parking places. [Palo Alto Daily Post]