Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- The owner of San Francisco’s Ritual Coffee Roasters says she’s fired her husband from the company after he used a racial slur against a Black man outside of their roasting facility last month, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Eileen Rinaldi said in an Instagram post on June 8 that she terminated husband John Rinaldi from a freelance construction project he was overseeing at the facility, and that he will otherwise no longer work for Ritual in any capacity after he admitted to using the slur during an argument over a parking spot in late May. The firing comes a year after workers at Ritual Coffee shops spoke out about alleged workplace issues at the company, including concerns over the behavior of Rinaldi’s husband, an outspoken SF figure nicknamed “Chicken John,” toward customers of color. [SF Chronicle]
- A new tasting room in downtown Napa that will host a collective of wineries is set to debut on Thursday, June 17. Mia Carta is home to six family-owned-and-operated small lot Napa Valley wineries: Art House Wines, Essere Napa, Ilsley Vineyards, Rarecat Wines, Redmon Wines and Sciandri Family Vineyards. The extravagantly designed tasting lounge in the Native Sons of the Golden West building at 1209 First Street will open at full capacity Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with wines available by the bottle, glass, or in customizable wine flights.
- After 27 years in Marshall, the Straus Family Creamery is moving its production out of Marin’s historic dairy farmlands and relocating to Sonoma County, a big move for the well-respected company. The brand new, $20 million, 50,000-square foot production plant located in Rohnert Park is expected to double output, while also employing new technologies that allow it to capture and reuse large amounts of water and heat, says CEO Albert Straus. Straus also says the company plans to implement similar recycling and repurposing systems used at the Marshall plant, systems that led to the creamery being the first in the world to receive a Zero Waste Certification. [The Press Democrat]
- Alameda and Napa are among the six new California counties that received approval to advance to the state’s least-restrictive yellow tier this week, allowing for the return of indoor service at bars with or without food permits. California’s tier-based system of COVID-19 restrictions is set to end on June 15; San Francisco confirmed last night that the city will align with the state and remove all capacity limits for restaurants and bars at that time. [Mercury News]
- The delightful Hello Kitty Cafe food truck returns to the Bay Area this month, making stops the next three Saturdays at three mall parking lots: Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek on June 12, Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco on June 19, and at Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton on June 26. The snack van (expect cookies, waffles, hand-decorated snack sets, and Hello Kitty-branded merch) takes cards only, and masks are required. [Kron4]