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Alameda Mulls a Plan to Transform Into a Hub for Nightlife

Also: restaurant workers will be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations, and more news to know today

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Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • Alameda’s Planning Board wants to relax restrictions on where bars can open, the East Bay Times reports. At present, the East Bay city’s rules prohibit bars from opening up within 1000 feet of each other, but Planning would like to drop that law, with board member Alan Teague saying that “anything we can do to support businesses now we should.” The relaxed regulations would mean that “a bar should be able to open, literally, next door to another one,” reporter Peter Hagarty writes, ushering in a new era of nightlife in the sleepy town. It’s now up to Alameda’s City Council to make a final decision on the proposed change.
  • A widely shared tweet claimed that “restaurant employees are moving to the back of the vaccination line” in California, but officials say that that tweet is wrong, and that “restaurant workers will indeed be prioritized for vaccines” under the state’s vaccine plan, as they’re considered “food and agricultural workers” (as are folks working at grocery stores, bakeries, and bodegas). [SF Chronicle]
  • Reporter/videographer Cecilia Phillips takes a deep dive into the challenges Oakland pitmaster Matt Horn faced as he opened up his popular restaurant, Horn BBQ. [KQED]
  • Chef Dov Sims, who opened Berkeley comfort food takeout window Cali Alley during the pandemic, has some harsh criticism of (scathingly-reviewed) early-millennium SF speakeasy Glow. [Bay Area News Group]
  • It was pouring in Walnut Creek Tuesday, but that didn’t stop diners from sitting outside with their meals. [NBC Bay Area]
  • The owners of 48-year-old Berkeley French spot Le Bateau Ivre say the main reason the restaurant will be able to reopen post-pandemic is because they bought its building back in 1976. [Berkeleyside]
  • Of this year’s Good Food Awards’ 219 honorees, 27 are Bay Area producers. [SF Chronicle]
  • SoMa leather bar Powerhouse will reopen to diners on Friday, but it’s had steady traffic before that, as it’s been operating as a food pantry for LGBTQ seniors and unemployed nightlife workers. [SFist]
  • San Mateo County has launched a $2.3M relief fund for its restaurants, wineries and breweries. [Palo Alto Online]