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100-Year-Old Chinatown Banquet Hall Is Saved

Also: The woman behind a beloved local burger, and more news to know today

The facade of Far East Cafe
Far East Cafe was expected to close at the end of 2020, but instead its reopened with indoor and outdoor dining
SF Chinatown 2021/Instagram

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

  • Chinatown’s 100-year-old banquet hall, the Far East Cafe, has been saved. Back in December, owner Bill Lee said that the pandemic had been too much for the business to bear, and that the spot would shutter at the end of 2020. Instead, it reopened for indoor dining Wednesday, the SF Chronicle reports, and will expand its hours to be open five days a week. Sing Tao Daily reports that Lee’s landlord offered him a deal on his rent, and he expects further assistance from a $1.9 million Chinatown relief measure passed by SF’s Board of Supervisors in January.
  • Carlotta Brown has been cooking up burgers at the Lake Chabot golf course since 2007, including the spot’s beloved “Carlotta Burger,” which is (get ready) “a 1/3-pound of burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, two types of cheese (both doused with barbecue sauce), a split hot link (also cooked with barbecue sauce bled into it, with the cheese tucked into the link) and four pieces of bacon.” [SF Gate]
  • West side videographer Joey Yee runs down some of his favorite restaurants in the Sunset. [Sunset Beacon]
  • California’s foodless craft brewers are frustrated that they can’t reopen until their counties hit the orange tier — so frustrated that they’re suing the state. [KRON 4]
  • SF’s iconic Cliff House restaurant might be closed, but fans of the venue are still fighting to preserve its historic decor and knick-knacks. [SF Weekly]