Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- The oldest operating leather bar in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood is poised to become the first of its kind — a leather bar — named a city landmark, reports the SF Chronicle. The SF Eagle’s application to be landmarked will be considered by the Historic Preservation Commission this week, as part of a larger effort by the Commission and Planning Department to protect local sites associated with underrepresented communities. If approved, which is expected, the Eagle would be San Francisco’s second gay bar to be landmarked after the Twin Peaks Tavern. [SF Chronicle]
- In the continuing fallout from a yearslong investigation into wage theft at several Bay Area restaurants, three restaurant owners were arraigned last week on charges of false tax returns, failure to pay unemployment and disability insurance, failure to pay income taxes, and grand theft of labor, per a release from the California Attorney General’s Office. David Tai Leung, Sunny Siukeung Chan, and Wendy Lai, former owners of Kome Japanese Seafood Buffet in Daly City and two other area Japanese buffet restaurants, are charged with stealing $893,000 in employee wages and evading hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and unemployment taxes. Kome was one of the main culprits of a California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement investigation between 2012 and 2018; the trio was said to have stolen wages from 133 workers at Kome before abruptly closing the restaurant’s doors and laying off staff in 2019. [CBS SF Bay Area]
- The Napa Valley Wine Train is chugging along once again, relaunching May 17 with a three-hour Napa Valley rail tour complete with sparkling wine and a four-course meal. Pre-pandemic rail seating is still on pause, and tables are spaced six feet apart with built-in partitions separating parties; the Wine Train plans to reintroduce its full lineup of tours in mid-June.
- Minority-owned San Francisco grocery delivery company Jupiter, which debuted last year, just launched a “social shopping platform” that allows users to access 2,000 recipes, plan meals, and add ingredients to their shopping carts. The community-based platform, which is intended to grow with user engagement, is available to non-Jupiter customers as well — it’s open to “anyone looking for new recipes or interested in participating in a food community,” according to a press release.
- Virtual Kitchen Co., a San Francisco-based ghost kitchen company started by former Uber execs in November 2020, is rebranding following its latest round of venture capital funding, reports SF Biz Journal. With $20 million in new investor money, the company is changing its name to All Day Kitchens and publicly launching in the Chicago market in the next few weeks, with plans to expand throughout Texas and California in the coming year. [SF Biz Journal]