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Why This Central Coast Ice Cream Company Is Being Sued

Plus, a warm return in the Tenderloin and more food news

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Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Central Coast-born ice cream business Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab is facing a lawsuit at its Sacramento location for allegedly breaching its contract and failure to pay rent. The Sacramento Business Journal reports the company signed a 15-year lease for its 1,650-square-foot space in February 2019 but never conducted business indoors — the company opted for a pop-up mobile shop outside the building — given the launch timeline and the pandemic. The owners of the property at 4920 Folsom Boulevard are Debra Glauz and Steven Link, who allege that Doc Burnstein’s has not paid full rent for more than two years, instead paying $3,000 of the $7,000 rent each month from July 2020 to January 2022. According to the lawsuit, the business did pay rent for a brief amount of time until December 2019, before the truncated payments began.

David Long, an investor and former CEO of Doc Burnstein’s, told the Sacramento Bee sustaining the company was “a Hail Mary” as soon as the pandemic hit. Long said indoor renovations of the building were estimated at $250,000 just to fix bathrooms and get the lights on. Support from locals in the area, who were visiting the mobile shop outside of the East Sacramento location, kept the flames alive longer than expected, he tells the Bee. (The lawsuit also alleges that the mobile unit was never approved by the landlords.) The company’s plans to launch 100 new locations are on ice as the newish Chico location shuttered, as well.

A bar crawl to support Black-owned businesses

Oakland bars Crybaby, Zanzi, and Torch are participating in the Black Bar Crawl, an event supporting Black-owned businesses. Jason Kelley and Sabrina Harvey co-founded the Washington D.C. group The Wave and are organizing the event, and they feel confident that Oakland is ripe for an event like theirs, they tell Berkeleyside. The bar crawl takes place on Saturday, June 11 and attendees can anticipate discounted drinks from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $25.

Outer Sunset pizza place partially converts into a cafe

Damnfine, a pizza shop, is expanding beyond its original crust. Now, at the same 3410 Judah Avenue address, mornings will be filled not with marinara but with espresso. The business announced on its Instagram the soft opening of the cafe, which will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, featuring espresso, coffee, pastries from Black Jet Baking Co., and focaccia.

La Cocina Marketplace to welcome back one of its own

On June 13, Bini’s Kitchen will open its third location, and where else but in the La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, the nonprofit where the business started in the first place? Owner Binita “Bini” Pradhan initially planned to open her kiosk with the other six inaugural La Cocina Marketplace businesses, but decided to hold off and focus on her two other locations as the food hall opened in April 2021.