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More Bay Area Restaurants Require Proof of Booster Amid Ongoing Omicron Surge

Plus, California’s indoor mask mandate extends through Valentine’s Day and more intel

The wood-wrapped dining room at Palette Tea House. Patricia Chang
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

As the highly contagious omicron variant continues to fuel an explosion of COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area, more restaurant and bar owners are requiring customers provide proof of receiving a booster shot to dine or drink indoors. Though the omicron variant tends to cause less severe illness than delta, record-high case numbers have pushed up statewide hospitalizations; the surge led some San Francisco restaurants and bars to close due to staff shortages or to protect employees from potential exposure to the virus. Now others are reopening or simply hopeful that requiring a booster shot — either a third shot for those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a second shot for Johnson & Johnson recipients — will safeguard their staff and customers.

The San Francisco Chronicle has published a running list of restaurants and bars now requiring proof of booster on Monday. In the last weeks of 2021, longstanding SF restaurants Zuni Cafe and Cassava in the Richmond became two of the first businesses requiring the additional shots for indoor dining. Now the list includes Palette Tea House, the stylish Ghirardelli Square dim sum destination; Pomelo in the Inner Sunset; Merchant Roots on Fillmore; and Hamano Sushi in Noe Valley. Oakland bars including Palmetto, Kon-Tiki, and Roses’ Taproom also require proof of booster, the Chronicle reports. [SF Chronicle]

Statewide mask mandate extends through February

Many Bay Area counties already have their own mask mandates in place, but for those without, the statewide mandate now extends until February 15, per NPR. Requiring that that all people regardless of vaccination status wear masks indoors, the statewide mandate was reinstated in December and was originally supposed to expire on January 15. [NPR]

Good Good Culture Club pushes back debut

If you’ve been impatiently waiting for the opening of Good Good Culture Club, the new restaurant set to take over the Mission Dolores restaurant space Liholiho Yacht Club occupied for most of 2021, you’ll have to hold on a little longer. The original January 4 opening date has been pushed back; reservations will now open this Friday, January 7.

Ox and Tiger launches late-night takeout and delivery

The sad news: Ox and Tiger, the popular Filipino-Japanese pop-up that found a semi-permanent residence, has returned to takeout and delivery only, the owners announced on Instagram. The good news: they’re doing late-night hours from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through January 15. Check out the menu below: