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Tech-Driven Non-Profit Pushes to Make SF’s Restaurant ‘Parklets’ a Permanent Affair

Also: SF could enter the orange tier on March 24, and more news to know today

Diners seated at sidewalk picnic tables at Panchita’s #2 in the Mission
A new petition wants to make picnic table seating, like this area in front of Panchita’s #2 in the Mission, a permanent affair
Patricia Chang

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

  • The call to make SF’s pandemic-spurred outdoor dining patios and structures a permanent affair is growing louder and louder. In early March, a Board of Supervisors committee “unanimously endorsed a resolution urging the creation of a permanent Shared Spaces program,” the SF Examiner reported at the time. Now a nonprofit called Grow SF, which describes itself as “a community of people working in tech ​who are stepping up to make our city better,” has launched a petition called “Save our small businesses. Make Shared Spaces permanent!” Petitions, of course, don’t create policy, but the gesture has gotten the attention of local broadcast and print media. But according to a tweet from Supervisor Ahsha Safai, he was already on the case, and legislation to mandate restaurant parklet permanence is forthcoming.
  • Contra Costa County’s public health officer says the region will likely reopen indoor dining next week, if COVID-19 rates continue to drop. [KRON 4]
  • Meanwhile, SF Mayor London Breed says that SF could enter the orange reopening tier — which would allow indoor dining at 50 percent — on March 24. [SF Chronicle]
  • Sonoma-based ice cream brand Alec’s Ice Cream just scored $1.14 million in seed funding, cash it’ll use to expand beyond the Bay. [SF Business Times]
  • New Rockridge Nepalese spot Namastey Patio is doing a bustling business in momos and naan. [East Bay Express]
  • SF’s Board of Supes has officially agreed to mandate $5/hour hazard pay for some grocery store workers. [KPIX]
  • Food critic Soleil Ho says the mac and cheese at Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement is “the best in the Bay Area.” [SF Chronicle]