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California May Standardize Wages for More Than a Half Million Fast-Food Workers

Plus, Cafe du Soleil rises again and more Bay Area food news

McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow Photo by Sergei Karpukhin\TASS via Getty Images
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

On Monday, the California State Assembly passed AB257, which could make California the first state to standardize wages for some half million fast food workers across the state. If the legislation makes it past the state Senate and Governor Newsom signs it into law, fast food workers in California could get representation and protections unlike ever before including minimum standards for wages, working hours, and working conditions. The bill would apply only to fast food restaurants with at least 30 locations nationwide.

The bill’s language states the legislation “would enact the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act or FAST Recovery Act” and “establish the Fast Food Sector Council,” which would include two representatives of fast food employees. As the Sacramento Bee reports, an earlier version of this bill, brought forward by former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, failed to pass last year. “I tell you from experience that these workers are some of the hardest-working people that I have ever worked with,” Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, D-Los Angeles, who supports the bill and worked at McDonald’s in high school, told the Bee.

Cafe du Solei raises a glasses once again

It appears the April 2020 closure of Cafe du Soleil was just a red herring. As reported by BrokeAssStuart, the Lower Haight cafe is back with a fresh coat of paint and a new venue at 211 Fillmore Street, where a Farmhouse Thai used to dish out food. BrokeAssStuart reports the kitchen is a bit bigger this time around, too.

FiDi Vietnamese restaurant hit with eviction notice

After almost 40 years of keeping the Financial District fed, Sai’s Vietnamese restaurant has just 30 days to pack its bags. “It’s like Thor with a hammer,” Inmy Chi, owner of Sai’s Vietnamese restaurant in the Financial District, told KRON4. “It came so sudden.” The lease is set to expire February 28, so the business is going to do what it can to raise funds to keep the business alive.

Mission Bay has a new food market for the community

Kain Na, which means “let’s eat” in Tagalog, is the newest grocer in San Francisco’s growing Mission Bay neighborhood. The food hub will provide food to low-income residents who live in the building and receive support from the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. The little shop lives right next to the TNDC’s Mission Bay office.

Vegetables and items on shelves inside a little shop
Interior photo of Kain Na
826 Valencia Instagram

Four Barrel throws shade at cold brew on its cans of … cold coffee

Eater SF recently noticed that Four Barrel, which has come under fire in the last few years, has a new cold coffee in Bay Area supermarkets. A few varieties are available to purchase, it seems, though the company’s website doesn’t mention these items and the only social media mention comes from one of their farming partners. Interestingly, the back of each can makes a not-so-subtle dig at the cold brew craze reading: “cold coffee, not cold brew” followed by “like all great coffee, this one was brewed hot, not cold.”