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Gilroy Garlic Festival, a Bay Area Tradition for More Than 40 Years, Canceled ‘Indefinitely’

Plus, a new restaurant set to hit downtown San Jose and more Bay Area food intel

Garlic Ice Cream booth at Gilroy Garlic Festival
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

It looks like the Bay Area’s favorite large, bustling garlicky festival is no longer: This year’s Gilroy Garlic Festival is canceled and the event could remain canceled for the “foreseeable future,” the Gilroy Dispatch reports. Festival organizers told the news site a combination of COVID-19 “uncertainties” and “prohibitive insurance requirements,” coupled with the fact that the Garlic Festival Association, which runs the annual event, has been losing money for close to a decade led to the decision. Organizers also told ABC7 News they made no revenue in 2019 and 2020, and were forced to pivot to smaller events in 2021. (Another wrench, the Dispatch added, is the fact that the festival is among the defendants named in several lawsuits filed after the 2019 shooting that left three people dead and 17 injured. Those lawsuits are still pending.)

The plan now is to change the format of the festival; the larger model is done, but smaller events will continue and are still in the mix for 2022, including a golf tournament on June 24, a concert at Clos La Chance Winery, and a farm-to-table dinner planned for later this year.

San Francisco’s Old Clam House is finally set to return

After remaining shuttered for two years following March 2020’s shutdown, the San Francisco Chronicle reports there’s finally some movement over at the Old Clam House, which has been around for 161 years. An “opening soon” sign was spotted in the windows and it turns out the restaurant was purchased by the family behind North Beach restaurant, Mona Lisa. The new owners told the Chronicle they plan to keep things mostly the same, including the decor and name; the menu itself will also largely remain intact, but with the possible addition of some pasta dishes. The restaurant is set to reopen in early May. (You can let out your sigh of relief now.)

New restaurant-bar set to open in downtown San Jose development

The purveyors behind popular San Jose establishments Paper Plane, Original Gravity Public House, and Miniboss leased a 4,000-square-foot spot in downtown San Jose at the site of a new development taking over the former Camera 12 movie theater, the Mercury News reports. The group plans to turn the space into a restaurant with cocktails but stated “food will be center stage” at this new spot. The restaurant is also joining an ax-throwing-restaurant-bar business, Unofficial Logging, and a new location of Urban Putt in the development.

Reddit meetups are back on House of Shields

Eater San Francisco just spotted that the much-loved tradition of drinks with Reddit user u/jimmyjah at House of Shields have started back up. The latest meetup was this past Thursday, and a quick scrollback through Reddit shows they’ve been happening sporadically (as it tends to go) over the last three months — the first since, ahem, know. A nice sign of San Francisco’s return, nonetheless.

Crumble & Whisk opening first storefront in Oakland

La Cocina alum, Charles Farrier of Crumble & Whisk, is opening his first bakery storefront in Oakland after nine years of selling his baked goods at Bay Area farmer’s markets.