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Why Neighbors Are Super Pissed at This Popular East Bay Natural Wine Bar and Restaurant

Plus, longstanding Sacramento gumbo destination Célestin’s is closing and more food news

A plate of snail shells filled with escargot and kumquat. Lauren Saria
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Apparently, just about everyone loves Oakland’s buzzy and ultra-cool natural wine bar and restaurant Snail Bar — except for the people who live in the surrounding Temescal neighborhood. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has received several complaints about the impact the restaurant is having on the residents of the surrounding blocks. The City of Oakland also issued two code violations to the business in late June relating to Snail Bar’s sidewalk seating.

In some ways, it’s an angry neighbors tale as old as time: residents of the once-quiet cul-de-sac near the restaurant say Snail Bar’s customers have been drinking wine in the street while waiting for tables and generally loitering on the sidewalks. Plus, the restaurant and bar often keeps the noisy energy up until after the business’ 9 p.m. closing time, neighbors say. The resident who lives directly above the bar and restaurant compared his living situation to hosting a nonstop party at his home against his will. “If someone else is throwing a party at your house every single day, there’s no way to make it stop,” he told the Chronicle.

Snail Bar owner Andres Giraldo Florez says he’s been trying to address neighbors’ concerns. He invested thousands of dollars in soundproofing the roof and applying for permits to expand the business’ parklet to alleviate the need for customers to wait outside for tables. But it’s not the first time in recent weeks Florez has generated negative headlines. In late August his newer bar and restaurant, Slug in Oakland, came under fire for distributing a portion of the restaurant’s mandatory service change to managers.

Sacramento gumbo legend to close after nearly four decades

The upcoming retirement of two Sacramento restaurant owners marks the end of a delicious gumbo era. The Sacramento Bee reports Patrick and Phoebe Célestin will retire at the end of 2022 and are looking to sell their nearly 40-year-old restaurant Célestin’s. The mom-and-pop restaurant has moved three times during its long tenure, but you still have a few months to enjoy the menu of Creole, Cajun, and Caribbean food at 3610 McKinley Boulevard.

SoMa is getting a new Italian deli

SFGATE reports Colombo’s Delicatessen, a “family-run Italian deli” with outposts in Pacifica and Redwood City, will open at 1 South Park Avenue, Suite 103A, near Oracle Park. The business will launch with online sandwich sales this fall before celebrating an official opening in early 2024.

RH just snatched up a prime Napa Valley property

RH, as in the furniture-slash-restaurant-slash-hotel company formerly known as Restoration Hardware, recently purchased an 857-acre property in Napa Valley off the Silverado Trail, the San Francisco Business Times reports. The news slipped during an investor call, and for now, there’s no word on exactly what the company plans to do with the former resort — though it stands to reason the project could include another one of RH’s absurdly gorgeous dining outlets like the RH atrium restaurant that opened at Pier 70 in May.