- 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.
- Food delivery apps might make a California ballot campaign one of the state’s biggest ever. The SF Chronicle reports that SF-based DoorDash and Instacart have each poured $17.5 million more into Proposition 22, which would allow voters the chance to decide if delivery drivers for the company should receive employee protections in California, alone. DoorDash has already dropped $30 million on the campaign, and Instacart $10M, as has Postmates. All told, the campaign has pulled in $181 million, as Uber and Lyft have also put in about $47.5 million each. According to Ballotpedia, that makes it the most expensive ballot measure California has seen since 1999, if not ever.
- As the 1) pandemic and 2) wildfires rage on, there are a number of initiatives focused on ensuring that everyone in the Bay Area gets fed. Here are some of the latest: The San Francisco Unified School District will serve free lunches to almost all of their students at pickup locations across the city, the SF Examiner reports. Meanwhile, the Berkeley Food Network tells the Daily Californian that they’ve seen “an increase from 1,600 to 5,000 customers per week” for its free grocery service. In Santa Cruz County, an anonymous donor has partnered with a couple local restaurants to serve free food to folks who’ve been displaced by the CZU Lightning Complex fire, reports NBC Bay Area. And in Los Gatos, restaurateurs are preparing and packing up food for firefighters, the East Bay Times reports, delivering meals to the Cal Fire base camp in Scotts Valley.
- Local nightclubs are adopting a variety of hustles to stay afloat, but they can’t make up for the money they’re losing during the pandemic. “None of this is even remotely sustainable,” DNA Lounge owner Jamie Zawinski tells the SF Examiner. “So, like every other nightlife-related business, we’re all just sitting here watching the clock tick and waiting for the money to run out.”
- The SF Chronicle reports that Volker Eisele Family Estate’s winery was spared by the Hennessey Fire, but its 45-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines, some of Napa’s oldest, were consumed by the blaze.
- Writing for Resy, True Laurel executive chef Geoff Davis praises iconic Market Street restaurant Zuni Cafe as “the perfect restaurant,” saying “when you are there, you can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
- Woodside outdoor destination Filoli historic house and garden has reopened to visitors, with catering from the Town Kitchen, an Oakland-based corporate catering company that employs at-risk and formerly incarcerated youth. [SF Gate]
- A $25,000 grant program for Chinatown restaurants has only passed $15,000 out so far, with local leaders saying that restaurants are reluctant to apply until they can be sure that diners will return to the area. [SF Examiner]
- Wine writer Esther Mobley says that “the conventional language used to describe wine isn’t merely intimidating and opaque. It’s also inextricable from racism and sexism, excluding dimensions of flavor that are unfamiliar to the white.” [SF Chronicle]
Food Delivery Apps Dump $181 Million Into Fight Against Benefits for California Workers
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by Eve Batey