Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Nightlife must be picking up, because yet another new bar is opening on Polk. A curiously “trade-inspired” cocktail bar opens at 1750 Polk Street this Friday, July 2, serving cocktails crafted around spices, florals, herbs, and exotic fruits, and food from neighboring wine bar and restaurant Amelie. Trade Routes is from the founder of mac and cheese mini-chain Mac’D, Chen-Chen Huo, and business partner Jay Ryoo, who say they were “inspired by the exchanges of ideas and goods from trade routes around the world.” Beginning July 2, Trade Routes is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends and from 4 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday). It joins DecoDance Bar that opened in March, and Macondray that opened just before the pandemic, so get hopping.
- Mission Bay coffee truck Spro Coffee Lab’s plans to open a cafe in Castro are quickly coming to fruition, with husband and wife team Rich Lee and Liza Otanes announcing a launch party on Saturday, July 10, offering customers a chance to sample drinks and food — like the blueberry mochi waffle — for free, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.. It’s the first non-truck coffee shop for the couple, taking over the former Maurepark space at 500 Church Street.
- Menlo Tavern, the newly reopened restaurant at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, has a new duo at the helm — head chef Louis Salvatore and chef de cuisine Tim Barajas. The pair spent seven years cooking together at Mayfield Bakery & Café, under Bacchus restaurant group, which also includes Michelin-starred Spruce in SF. Chef Salvatore also most recently working alongside famed chef Roland Passot at Left Bank.
- With the 10th annual Napa Valley Film Festival upon us (November 9 to 14), the festival’s Cinema Sunset film series is returning as well, kicking off on July 9 with a screening of the (excellent) Pixar movie Soul on the Charles Krug Winery lawn in St. Helena. Tickets are $10, and wine and food from Heritage Eats will be available for purchase.