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Chef Aaron London Surprise Announces Decision to Close Michelin-Starred AL’s Place

Plus, state Senator Scott Weiner shares his favorite restaurants and more Bay Area food intel

AL’s Place Patricia Chang

Chef Aaron London made the sudden, shocking announcement Thursday that he’s shutting down his popular Michelin-star restaurant AL’s Place after seven years. London has won plenty of recognition for the restaurant, including a notable “best new restaurant in the country” nod from Bon Appetit in the year of its opening. And rather than the closure decision being brought on by a rent hike or lack of customers — London says the restaurant is fine — the chef told the San Francisco Chronicle he wants to spend more time with his partner and 1-year-old daughter.

“If I was fine just burning myself to a crisp, that’s one thing. But now there are other people in my life that need me to not be burnt to a crisp, that need me to be around,” London told the news outlet. “Ultimately I’ve made the decision to recraft my professional life around family rather than family life around the professional.” The restaurant’s last day will be August 28.

Scott Weiner tells you where to go (in San Francisco)

Axios approached state senator Scott Weiner to discuss where he would go in the city for his “best day ever” and he shouts out a number of his favorite places to eat and drink. Among them are Castro Tarts for pancakes, Dinosaurs for the roasted pork sandwich, and bars like Powerhouse and Oasis. Read more here.

The St. Ignatius v Sunset Mercantile drama continues

Look, it’s a lot to recap, but if you’ve been following along with the Sunset farmer’s market argument discussions with St. Ignatius school, the latest development is that the school is now saying it’s not them who went back on their word over the new agreement, it’s Sunset Mercantile. The most recent fingerpointing is cataloged over at SFGATE.

Sacramento bakery closes after a year in business

Sacramento’s Mud Pie Stand Bakery announced it will be permanently closing in an Instagram post to customers Thursday. The business owners called the closure a “necessary decision” but acknowledged the ending does feel devastating. The owners said rising food costs, supply chain issues, and little foot traffic have been tough, and they’re completely getting out of the food industry for health, family, and financial reasons. The shop opened in June 2021 and the last day is September 17, or until product runs out.

Offal sad to see you go

In more sad Sacramento news, the Sacramento Bee covers the cancellation of the offal-centric festival, Have An Offal Day, which was initially set to happen this upcoming Sunday. The festival features chef-driven plates made from various organ meats, but ticket sales were much slower than expected, so organizers instead decided to cancel with no plans to bring the event back in the future.

Go do things this weekend

Fogust or not, there are a number of things happening this weekend in the Bay Area as the summer begins winding its way down to Labor Day. Two things we’ve been chatting about at Eater SF are this Sunday’s Lumpia Lands at District Six (as covered by KQED), plus the Tea & Others x Telescope Coffee collab happening Saturday and Sunday. At the Tea & Others shop in Lower Haight, order a seasonal dessert set of pluot-rose trifle paired with oolong tea (with a pluot compote) for $15.

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