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Anti-Mask Protesters Demonstrate at NorCal Grocery Store

Also: A SF bar faces a parklet controversy, and more news to know today

A masked grocery shopper at Trader Joe’s
Protesters opposed to Trader Joe’s enforcement of mask laws gathered in Santa Cruz last weekend
Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

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

  • A group of protesters opposed to state and local mask laws gathered outside a Santa Cruz Trader Joe’s Sunday. The Santa-Cruz Sentinel reports that a group carrying anti-mask signs with slogans like “Maskless Lives Matter” gathered after fliers that urged protesters to go “into a Nazi store without a mask and share the pictures and videos” were circulated across the city. “A line of Trader Joe’s employees formed at the front of the store to impede the protesters from entering the market,” writes reporter Ryan Stuart, while masked patrons shopped inside. Instead, reports Stuart, the group heckled masked shoppers as they left the store, with one demonstrator yelling that a patron was wearing a so-called “jock strap” on her face. Police called to the scene did not leave their vehicles, Stuart reports, and “interactions between the protesters and police appeared to be positive.”
  • The owner of popular Fillmore Street restaurant Harry’s Bar says that a controversy over its outdoor dining setup might close the business. General manager Charles Johnson tells KRON 4 that the Harry’s spent $30,000 on a parklet to serve patrons outdoors, securing permission from its next-door neighbor to extend into the street in front of that business, as well. Now that neighboring business has closed, and the building owner says that the Harry’s parklet is bringing property values down and deterring potential renters. City officials are saying that the parklet must be chopped by a third as of March 15, which Johnson says will force the business to lay off staffers, and might even cause it to shutter completely.
  • The Claremont Club & Spa’s Limewood Bar & Restaurant will offer its first-ever food-and-cannabis pairing dinner on March 5. [Bay Area News Group]
  • When vandals defaced the parklet in front of Haight Street bar the Alembic with graffiti that reads “The city sweeps people, but not these?”, its owners responded with a tweet that said it agreed with the vandal’s sentiments. [SF Chronicle]
  • West Portal’s McCarthy’s Bar is the site of a fundraiser that’s raised $5,000 for a non-profit lifeboat organization in Ireland. [CorkBeo]
  • Gaston Georis, the owner of popular Carmel restaurant La Bicyclette, has died. [Monterey Herald]
  • Simi Adebajo, whose Eko Kitchen is San Francisco’s only Nigerian restaurant, is branching out into the skin care business with a company called Ori. [SF Business Times]
  • If you’re trying to figure out where to find those hotter-than-hot Basque-style cheesecakes, here are some bakers to check out. [SF Chronicle]