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Chez Panisse Temporarily Shuts Down Due to COVID-19 Exposure

Also: Black Muslim Food Week kicks off, and more news to know today

The Chez Panisse sign
Chez Panisse is closed this week, after a suspected COVID-19 exposure incident
Bill Addison

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

  • Unlike many fine dining spots, Alice Waters’s groundbreaking restaurant Chez Panisse remained open during the pandemic, starting with retail sales of pantry goods, and eventually launching a rotating, tightly-edited takeout menu of sandwiches, breakfast dishes, and desserts, The restaurant announced via Instagram Tuesday that it would temporarily close this week, but didn’t say why — but according to Berkeleyside, members of the restaurant’s email list were told that the business had a potential COVID-19 exposure on February 18. “Staffers — some of whom have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — will be quarantining and getting tested during the downtime,” reporter Sarah Han writes. Chez Panisse expects to reopen on Sunday, February 28.
  • Black Muslim Food Week kicks off on Thursday with three days of restaurant deals, bookended by periods of “fasting and learning.” [Bay Area News Group]
  • Beloved dive El Rio, which has been dark for nearly a year, is back open with outdoor drinking and dining. [SFist]
  • SF-based company Yelp continues to expand beyond problematic reviews and into the restaurant takeout workflow game. [Ad Week]
  • Silicon Valley startup Mezli promises robot-made salads for $4.99. [Palo Alto Online]
  • As things stand now, Oakland’s 103 bar and restaurant parklet dining areas will shut down when the state announces that Alameda County has reached the yellow tier of reopening. [Oaklandside]
  • Restaurants, bars, and businesses in the Castro say that they’ve spent $120,00 repairing smashed windows over the past year. [Hoodline]