Americans will already have a lot to unpack on January 6, the one year anniversary of the insurrection at the Capitol, but Tadich Grill, often heralded as the oldest restaurant in San Francisco, will be commemorating a different — though still divisive — occasion: the one-year anniversary of the restaurant receiving thousands of dollars from founder Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports, who once proclaimed himself to be “uncancellable.” On Thursday, the restaurant plans to host a “first annual Dave Portnoy Day,” SFGATE reported, with a special menu that touts Portnoy’s “selfless” efforts to support small businesses during the pandemic.
While it may be hard to fault the restaurant's owners, Mike and Yvette Buich, for accepting any help they could find during those dark days of early 2021, choosing to honor Portnoy in January 2022 strikes a decidedly different tone. Portnoy’s reputation for unapologetically making racist remarks and fostering a culture of misogyny at his company have been well-documented for years, but in November Business Insider reported three women’s “violent and humiliating” sexual encounters with the Internet mogul.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle last year, Yvette described the Barstool Sports Fund, through which the restaurant received the funds, as a “lifeline” and said the family wasn’t aware of Portnoy’s problematic reputation; this time around, however, they can’t claim ignorance. “There’s no room for racism and racist comments,” said Mike and Yvette’s daughter, Melanie Pipas, last year. SFGATE reached out for comment but the restaurant did not respond to interview requests. [SFGATE, Business Insider, SF Chronicle]
San Jose restaurant closes after landlord doubles rent
Ben’s BBQ & Brew in West San Jose served its last meals on New Year’s Eve after the landlord doubled the restaurant’s rent from $6,000 to about $13,000 a month, the Mercury News reports. The abrupt increase is likely tied to the fact that the shopping center where Ben’s BBQ & Brew was located has been slated for a new Costco store, per Hoodline. [Mercury News, Hoodline]
A new skewer-centric izakaya smokes into the Richmond
The former home of Halu, 312 Eighth Avenue in the Richmond District, is now Moku Yakitori-Ya, a “Japanese skewer yakitori style izakaya restaurant,” per the owner’s post on Facebook. The restaurant comes from a duo of brothers who’ve been in the Japanese restaurant industry for a decade and is open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
A really big avocado tree and a generous hardware store owner
The San Francisco Chronicle presents a heart-warming story about Ammar Swalim, the new owner of a hardware store in Pacific Heights with a giant avocado tree out back. Overwhelmed by the amount of fruit, Swalim posted on Nextdoor.com about giving the ’cados away for free, unintentionally sparking a flurry of excitement around the Bay Area. [SF Chronicle]