The West Portal neighborhood will welcome an upscale new doughnut shop and cafe backed by a pastry chef with experience working in fine dining restaurants. George’s Donuts & Merriment is expected to open in summer 2024, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, and will be located at 163 West Portal Avenue. Executive pastry chef Janina O’Leary comes to the project after working at Bacchus Management Group, which operates restaurants across the Bay Area including Spruce, Selby’s, and the Village Pub.
The menu will offer “an array of handmade donuts in savory and sweet flavors, enticing European-style café fare, fresh roasted coffees, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty drinks,” per a press release. Specific doughnuts to look forward to include a flight of fried doughnut holes, a churro cruller, “a riff on Bacon and Eggs, and ‘Drunken’ Donuts.’” Following its debut, the restaurant will be open daily from early morning until evening, with plans to stay open later on the weekends.
An Oakland soul food legacy lives on
East Bay Nosh has the story behind Willows & Pine, a new Oakland restaurant that traces its roots back to one of Oakland’s most celebrated soul food destinations. Owner and chef Michauxnée Olier grew up in the East Bay, where her great grandparents once operated “The Barn, a beloved soul food restaurant and community focal point in West Oakland.” Now she’s continuing the family legacy serving shrimp and crawfish chowder, braised oxtails with grits, and chicken etouffee.
San Francisco restaurants struggle due to APEC
As Eater SF previously reported, some downtown San Francisco restaurant owners are concerned about the negative impact of the APEC conference taking place in the city this week. Now, SFGATE reports some business owners are seeing exceptionally low numbers of reservations. Benu, the three-Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant from chef Corey Lee, has “fewer reservations than we can ever remember since opening,” the outlet reports. Reservations at Filipino restaurant Abaca, which is located at Fisherman’s Wharf, were so slow that owners Francis and Dian Ang canceled a collaboration dinner planned for Wednesday evening and will close the restaurant entirely on Thursday.
Vietnamese pop-up lands in Oakland
Bé Bếp, a New York City-based pop-up that “celebrates the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine,” per the business's Instagram, will arrive in Oakland this week. Catch the pop-up at Ramen Shop on Thursday, November 16 from 5 to 6 p.m. The menu includes dishes such as scallop crudo and lobster mushroom noodles.