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The Hunt Is on for a New Restaurant to Takeover SF’s Historic Cliff House

Plus, the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival cancels over COVID concerns, and more intel

Cliff House Restaurant Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • The Cliff House, the iconic restaurant that’s overlooked Ocean Beach since 1863, closed in December 2020, when contract negotiations between the restaurant’s most recent proprietors and the National Parks Service broke down. In the eight months since, the building has been vandalized, burglarized, and the subject of much speculation. But on Tuesday, the Park Service announced the dynamic space is set to be a restaurant once again — albeit one with a new moniker as former proprietors Dan and Mary Hountalas trademarked the Cliff House name. The Park Service, which owns the building, said that it’s moving into the next phase of accepting proposals from potential tenants come this fall, with the goal of announcing the new operator next summer. So who’s likely to run the building’s new restaurant? SFist speculates the successor is likely to be “a large restaurant group or food-service corporation.” Let’s just hope it’s not Aramark. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • The Lafayette Art & Wine Festival, the East Bay wine festival known for top local food vendors, winemaker tastings, and live music, announced this week that this year’s September event has been canceled over COVID concerns, releasing a statement that references the “significant setback in the public health response to the pandemic, driven by the delta variant and low vaccination rates (not in Lamorinda, but elsewhere).” The 2021 event, which was also canceled in 2020, would have marked the 25th anniversary of the festival. The 2022 festival remains scheduled for September 17 and 18.
  • A fire last week destroyed the restaurant at the historic Lucia Lodge in Big Sur Valley, reports the Mercury News, though the lodge itself and all guest cabins were “untouched” and remain open. Big Sur Fire responded to the fire on the night of August 10 and were able to stop its spread, but not before the lower level of the restaurant was destroyed. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [Mercury News]