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Tiki Bar Favorite Trad’r Sam Quietly Reopens With an Updated Interior

The reopening of the Outer Richmond bar comes with a new floor, new taps, and less cultural appropriation

A sign that reads “Trad’r Sam.” Lauren Saria
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

When news came in late September that Trad’r Sam on Geary Boulevard was closing temporarily “to fix up the bar” amidst a legal battle between owners and siblings Dorothy Riedel and John Munguia, some fans worried the business might not reopen. Yet, as the San Francisco Standard reports, Trad’r Sam is alive and well, opening just three weeks ago with updates to the well-loved bar.

Among the noticeable changes are the bar’s new flooring, a new bar top, plus new taps and blenders, the Standard reports. Also gone are what the Standard calls the “somewhat cringe-inducing island names for the seating areas.” Also undergoing a makeover is the bar’s distinctive neon sign on its exterior, which is going through a restoration from the company Neon Works. Otherwise, the drinks are the same beloved fruit juice-spiked cocktails, with regulars bellying up the bar as in years before.

Parking issues mire neighborhoods with ghost kitchens

Whatever you feel about third-party delivery and the rise of ghost kitchens, a very physical, IRL problem is happening in the neighborhoods where ghost kitchens reside: a lack of parking spaces for delivery drivers and wholesale food deliveries, leading to double parking, traffic, and arguments, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Particularly on Charter Oak Avenue in San Francisco and a North Oakland neighborhood, those two sites have seen a variety of issues. Despite attempts at communication with owner Cloud Kitchens, which is backed by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, there has been a lack of response, and two organizations have jointly filed a complaint against the city of Oakland. The issue is that the ghost kitchens’ “high traffic and lack of traditional restaurant seating is not accurately covered by any zoning regulations,” one neighborhood organizer told the outlet.

Many of San Jose’s pandemic-era parklets are leaving

Federal funding used to help pay for concrete barriers for San Jose parklets is gone, and now business owners are being asked to cover the costs, the Mercury News reports. But what restaurant owners in the SOFA district have found is that the cost of a permanent parklet is exorbitantly expensive; one cafe owner says that despite a $35,000 city grant to make their outdoor space permanent, he priced out the cost for a parklet closer to $50,000 — money which he doesn’t have. Of 20 businesses that participated in the parklet program, the Merc reports, just 10 have applied for permanent spaces.

Mission District vendor ban goes into effect today

The much-talked-about Mission District street vendor ban begins on Monday, November 27, and is expected to last for 90 days. The ban was initiated by San Francisco supervisor Hillary Ronen, who claims that vendors have threatened city workers who were attempting to clean the streets. Still, the Mission Vendors Association is pushing back — “direct action” has been organized for 11 a.m. on Monday at Mission and 24th streets, and “vendors also said they may set up shop anyway to drive the point home,” NBC Bay Area reports. A designated area for vendors will open at 17th and Mission streets, although the association says there are not enough spots to fit all the vendors; they say just 48 spots are available for 116 of the permitted vendors.