Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced updated mask guidance on Tuesday, July 27 and this time, it’s in line with what local officials have already recommended: everyone should be wearing a mask indoors right now. The guidelines still specify that fully vaccinated people can resume most of their pre-pandemic activities — but the new update is that in areas experiencing substantial or high levels of transmission, even vaccinated people should wear a mask inside. Pop on over to the CDC’s tool for checking your county’s current level of transmission and you’ll find SF to be in the bright red “high” category, along with nearby Alameda, Solano, and Contra Costa counties. Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Sonoma fall into the “substantial” category so masks should be on there, too. Of course, folks around here were already wearing masks inside since this national-level guidance comes several weeks after a coalition of Bay Area counties began strongly recommending masks indoors.
- And in very much related news, a survey by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association shows a large number of SF restaurant owners would support making masks mandatory, instead of relying on individual business owners to set and enforce their own rules. The survey included 231 members, about 66 percent of whom said they’d “support an indoor mask requirement for anyone entering [their] business,” including customers and staff. Sixty-three percent said they’d also support a proof of vaccination requirement, although only about 56 percent said they’re currently requiring their own staff be vaccinated.
- Meanwhile in the Sacramento area, Woodland bar the Thirsty Goat has closed after two staff members contracted COVID-19, the Sacramento Bee reports. According to the Bee, two unvaccinated customers told the bar they’d contracted the virus and had been unmasked when they visited the business. Both staff members who were infected were vaccinated. When the Thirsty Goat reopens, patrons will have to show proof of vaccination to enter and wear masks inside, management told the Bee. [Sacramento Bee]
- But it’s not all COVID all the time; the East Bay is getting at least three new restaurants. The Daily Californian reports that Oakland-based Pyro’s Pastrami pop-up has secured a brick and mortar home (though they’re not telling anyone where just yet) in Berkeley, and East Bay Times says Crescent Bistro and Southern Comfort Kitchen, which also has a location in Castro Valley, will be coming soon to downtown Pleasant Hill. [Daily Californian, East Bay Times]
- Finally, shout out to 48 Hills for spotting that Bay Area rapper E-40 is launching a line of sausages under the name “Goon with a Spoon” to which we say, tell me when to go ... to the store to pick some up cause that’s just wonderful. [48 Hills]