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Northern California Taco Chain Accused of Underpaying Workers and Withholding Tips

Plus, a historic East Bay dive is slated to reopen on July 1 and more Bay Area food news

A mason jar filled with coins and bills labeled “tips.” Shutterstock
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

The owners of a Northern California taco restaurant chain have been accused of underpaying workers, withholding some tips, and pressuring employees not to help federal investigators who were looking into the business’ labor practices, the Sacramento Bee reports. Taqueria Garibaldi operates three locations around the Sacramento area and in a federal complaint filed Monday, the owners of the company and one general manager are accused of several violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The complaint alleges that employees regularly worked more than 40 hours a week but overtime hours were paid in cash and not at 1.5 times the regular rate. Supervisors and managers were also allowed to keep a portion of tips, which is illegal.

The complaint also indicates that after the Labor Department began looking into the restaurant, the owners instructed workers to tell investigators that “employees only worked forty hours a week and eight hours a day, were provided two days off and thirty-minute breaks, and were paid only in checks,” per the Bee. Additionally, company leaders had employees start tracking their hours on handwritten timecards instead of via an electronic system; the company would then give workers new cards and “retroactively write forty-hour work weeks for past pay periods.”

Historic East Bay dive bar reopens on July 1

Berkeleyside reported the return of legendary Oakland dive bar the Stork Club back in April — but now SFGATE has some additional concrete details about the bar’s reopening. Close readers may remember that a group of new owners plan to change the bar’s name (slightly) to Thee Stork Club; the public will finally be able to step into the historic space on July 1, when the owners are planning a “grand reopening bash.”

There’s an aperitif tasting room open in Winters

California-based aperitif brand L’Apero les Trois is debuting a tasting room in Yolo County today, the Chronicle reports, and the owners — a trio of “food- and wine-industry veterans” — believe it to be the first dedicated aperitif tasting room in the state.

You can try a $125 ramen tasting menu at this Inner Richmond restaurant

Noodle in a Haystack has gone from pop-up to permanent thanks to a new location at 4601 Geary Boulevard. The restaurant serves a 7-course ramen tasting menu that costs $125 per person, the Chronicle reports; it showcases “different elements of ramen” before concluding with an A5 wagyu abura soba.

San Francisco has a new Tunisian restaurant

Tablehopper spotted a new Tunisian restaurant now open in FiDi; it’s called Dar Fatma and is serving a menu of shakshuka, skewers, and tajine — and it’s full service, too.

Get your haupia pie on this weekend in Hayward

Tomorrow is the 49th annual Hawaiian May Day Festival in Hayward, hosted by the Kumu Hula Association of Northern California. There will be plenty to enjoy including performances, music, art and crafts, and — as KQED points out — a lot of local grindz from haupia pie to garlic shrimp.