Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Much was made last week of a quote from the National Park Service saying “we are committed to maintaining the Cliff House building as a restaurant and public space,” even though they’ve been saying that same thing since December of 2020, when the family that had been managing it for decades moved out of the space. Whatever the case, the revival of interest in the 157-year-old spot prompted SF Chronicle columnist Peter Hartlaub to ask if the business should be completely rethought. Quoting chef/social media sassmouth Richie Nakano’s tweets that the Cliff House “shouldn’t be a restaurant, period. It should have a really good deli, a coffee place, an ice cream stand, maybe a raw bar...I don’t want to pull a ‘let’s open a food hall’ like its 2016, but a Ferry Building west would kill it there,” Hartlaub says “his point is supported by history,” and asks “should we cling to our cherished memories, or create something that will also delight and welcome the newcomers to San Francisco?”
- San Francisco-based club Wine Access has purchased Napa Valley luxury label shop 750 Wines, with the goal of getting the retail operation’s hard-to-find bottles into the hands of its members. [North Bay Business Journal]
- Some San Francisco restaurants that hosted Super Bowl events eschewed rules like sit-down dining time limits. The two-hour dining rule is intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (risks for which increase during hours-long interactions between households), but venues were reluctant to move guests along during the game. [SF Chronicle]
- Former Hotel Utah waitress Leslie Fitzsimmons died last month after a life of travel, live music, and bar and restaurant service, She was 69. [Wenatchee World]
- Joe Saccone, the founder of Marin’s United Markets grocery stores, died last month at age 107. The San Francisco native bought his first grocery store in SF, before opening what was then Marin’s largest market in 1955. [Bay Area News Group]
- Food critic Soleil Ho says that Bernal Heights pop-up LoJo’s Tacos “nails” the breakfast taco. [SF Chronicle]
- Tablehopper scribe Marcia Gagliardi has been in the restaurant game for 15 years, a milestone she’s celebrating with an anniversary bag of treats from local businesses. [SF Gate]