Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- One of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar’s “parklet” dining structures was destroyed by a falling tree, KRON 4 reports. The tree fell onto “the northernmost Absinthe parklet on Gough Street,” on Monday morning, Hoodline reports, crushing the outdoor dining area’s roof and partitions. The restaurant — which is “hibernating until further notice,” a sign on its door says — has two dining areas in the street, one on Hayes Street and the second, damaged one, on Gough. San Francisco’s Department of Public Works was out cleaning up the tree by 11:45 Monday morning, but it’s up to the restaurant to repair its crushed parklet after that.
- Casa Mexicana Taqueria, 28-year-old burrito spot at 180 Church Street, was damaged Friday night by a one-alarm grease fire, Hoodline reports. According to Bay City News, no one was injured in the blaze, which the San Francisco Fire Department had under control by 8 p.m. An employee who spoke to Hoodline says that the fire started in the restaurant’s kitchen, and of Sunday the restaurant remained boarded up and closed for business.
- Local writer Melissa Hung considers what might happen to SF’s Chinatown if its struggling banquet halls shut down. [SF Chronicle]
- Max Wade, the Marin County teen who made headlines for stealing celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s $200,000, bright yellow Lamborghini, will get out of jail about a decade earlier than expected. [Bay Area News Group]
- While many local restauranteurs disdain ghost kitchens for their diner-disconnected, delivery-focused business model, others say that the commissary spots’ low overheads are the key to restaurant success. [SF Weekly]
- Even Soleil Ho, a longtime restaurant worker turned food journalist and critic, is struggling with the demands of the fine dining meal kit. [SF Chronicle]
- 40-year-old Castro gay bar the Pilsner Inn has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, reopening only last week with food and outdoor drinking. [Hoodline]
- The 1926-era barn for Half Moon Bay produce stand Andreotti Family Farms was destroyed by a fire late Friday night. [NBC Bay Area]