Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Chef Michael Mina has closed his eponymous fine-dining destination in the Financial District to make way for a new restaurant that draws inspiration from his Greek heritage and Aqua, the seafood restaurant where he launched himself to stardom more than two decades ago. Called Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant, the restaurant will debut at 252 California Street in September 2021 through a partnership between Mina and chefs Girair “Jerry” Goumroian and Nikolaos Georgousis. On the menu, look for shareable Mediterranean dishes like sea bass ceviche with lemon citronette, prawns in a spicy tomato sauce with dill and feta, and phyllo-crusted Dover sole. And don’t worry: if you’re feeling incredibly overwhelmed by all those seafood-centric dishes, a press release boasts that the restaurant will offer “San Francisco’s first Fish Sommelier” who will guide diners through the day’s fresh catches, which will be displayed on a “fish cart.”
- The more-than-a-decade-old Monk’s Kettle in the Mission will reopen on Friday, August 6 after a month-long closure during which the bar got a pretty extensive-sounding refresh. Owner Christian Albertson writes in an email that the bar has updated flooring, tables, walls, and lighting. Friday will also be the first time the bar welcomes patrons for indoor dining and drinking since March 2020. Proof of vaccination will be required, though seating in the parklet will be an option for those without. Reservations can be made for both indoor and outdoor seating on the Monk’s Kettle website.
- On Monday, a group of seven Bay Area counties reinstated mandatory indoor mask mandates — but Solano and Napa counties were the notable exceptions, and Solano County Health Director Dr. Bela Matyas is defending the decision. In an ABC-7 report, Matyas is quoted as saying indoor mask mandates aren’t necessary because indoor public spaces aren’t where the fast-spreading delta variant is taking off. Instead, he says, it’s “people who are going to parties, barbecues, picnics, and campouts” and engaging in activities like “sharing of food, sharing of cigarettes” and, interestingly, “playing beer pong.” Looking at you, co-eds. [ABC7]
- There may or may not be beer pong and shared cigarettes at Napa Valley music and wine festival BottleRock, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. But in any case, the organizers announced Friday that all attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, SFGate reported. [SFGate]
- Sure, you could sip a beer on the adorable cable car-inspired parklet at Sutter Street Tavern. But as of this week, you can also take a ride on one of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars once again. Starting August 2 and through the end of the month, the city is running limited service from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Best of all, it’s free.