Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
A customer subjected the owner of a well-loved Palo Alto Japanese restaurant to a racist tirade, shouting at her to “go back to [her] country” and calling her “un-American,” reports Palo Alto Online. Lomi Gardener and her family have owned and operated Fuki Sushi in the Peninsula community for three generations. But recently, Gardner says a customer became upset when he was told the restaurant wasn’t accepting cash due to the pandemic. He proceeded to scream at both a server and Gardener, reportedly telling Gardner, “‘I don’t understand you (through your mask). You are un-American! Where were you even born? Did you even go to school here? You are not American! Go back to your country! You don’t belong here! We don’t want you here!’” Ultimately, Gardner says the customer paid and left the restaurant but the incident left the native Palo Altan understandably upset. Palo Alto Online reports the city’s police department is looking into the incident, which also caught the attention of public officials including Menlo Park City Council member Ray Mueller who posted about the encounter of Facebook. [Palo Alto Online]
- Fans of East Bay Cal-Mediterannean restaurant Rivoli are wringing their hands over the murky future of the 27-year-old restaurant, which went dark suddenly in recent days. Berkeleyside is on the case, however, reporting that owner Blake Peters says the restaurant is closed “due to a confluence of factors beyond our control.” The Rivoli website says only that the restaurant is closed “until further notice.” [Berkeleyside]
- Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing Company has moved into new digs at the Oxbow Public Market Annex. The craft brewery first opened inside the Napa food hall in 2016, but now has a larger space featuring an outdoor beer garden and expansive indoor taproom at the adjacent Annex. Expect 18 beers on tap, live music, and other programming.
- SFGate offers up a brief history slash ode to the cutty bang and the distinctly San Franciscan tradition of purchasing plastic bags of booze and mixers at a corner store before heading to a nearby stoop or park to imbibe. The outlet didn’t quite get to the bottom of how the cutty bang came into being, but if you’re curious this 2016 Vice report might shed a little more light. [SFGate]
- And just in case you aren’t totally sick of (or offended by) the sight of Fnnch’s ubiquitous honeybear, you can now purchase a whole line of honeybear swag ranging from a $12.95 coffee mug to a $39.95 serving platter at Williams-Sonoma. Interestingly, the pop artist told the SF Business Times that he has “very little idea what this means for my art practice financially.” [SF Business Times]