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This Is What Bay Area Health Officials Say About the Latest COVID Surge, and the Impact on Dining

Plus, everyone gets a shoutout on these restaurant menus and more food news

Chef Eric Ehler cooking a dish in the wok, his mouth covered by a face mask Joseph Weaver
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Dr. Carina Marquez of UCSF is warning of a COVID surge in San Francisco, and in a May 16 meeting with the Latino Task Force, she strongly encouraged residents to start wearing a mask again, if they had ever stopped. In comparison to April’s reported figures of 133 new cases daily, May has seen an average of about 449 new daily cases in the last week. In the Bay Area, Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties are the most heavily impacted in the whole state of California. While lower than January’s Omicron spike of 2,300 new cases per day, city officials are encouraging folks to hit those COVID basics all the harder: social distance indoors, wear a mask at busy places, and test regularly, according to a mid-May press release from the city.

This spike has not been easy on dining, as the Chronicle reports opening delays to new restaurants like the Mission District’s Handroll Project and Midnite Bagel. There has been no change in dining requirements since proof of vaccination and negative test requirements were dropped for indoor dining in San Francisco back in March, but San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip says “wearing a mask in indoor, public settings is a smart move, as is staying up to date on vaccinations and, importantly, having a plan to reach a doctor if you get infected.”

A Chamorro feast for Carnaval

Carnaval is back in San Francisco May 28-29, and there’s a pig roast at Prubechu the second day of festivities. The restaurant will host Mission District DJs and Fifth Taste sake importers at the restaurant, with the parade carousing right in front of the restaurant patio, and, of course, a whole pig feast. There’ll be plenty of food throughout the weekend, as well, with pop-ups on Harrison and Folsom Streets.

These San Francisco restaurants are putting the whole team on the menu

Californios, a Mexican fine dining restaurant in San Francisco, lists every staff member at their establishment on the menu. Is this the beginning of a trend, as folks at Daytrip worry? Or is it a major step in creating equity in the workplace, as the team at Square Pie Guys say they agree with the Californios menu approach. The Chronicle has the full story.

Sprouts locations closing in South Bay

Two South Bay Sprouts grocery stores are closing out of the blue after nearly a decade of service each. The company hasn’t provided much explanation as to why it is closing its Fremont and Mountain View stores, but James Quadra, an attorney representing Sunhill Enterprises which leased the Fremont Plaza Shopping Center to the company, told Mercury News the company asked for a better deal on their rental agreement that Sunhill couldn’t provide.

Say hello to the new chef de cuisine at this waterfront restaurant

A fixture on the San Francisco waterfront, the Epic Steak is bringing in new talent: Colton Hays is joining the team as chef de cuisine, joining executive chef Parke Ulrich. Hays is coming off a 20-year spree of restaurant work in the city which includes Spruce, Cafe des Amis, Coqueta, and Miller & Lux to name a few. Hays moved to San Francisco in 2001 after a childhood spent in Hawaii.

EPIC Steak

369 The Embarcadero, , CA 94105 (415) 369-9955 Visit Website


355 11th Street, , CA 94103 (415) 757-0994 Visit Website


2224 Mission Street, , CA 94110 (415) 853-0671 Visit Website

Handroll Project

598 Guerrero Street, , CA 94110 Visit Website

Midnite Bagel

2565 3rd Street, , CA 94107 (415) 294-0604 Visit Website