The San Francisco Chronicle’s restaurant critic Soleil Ho will leave the food section after four years. Ho let fans know on Monday that their time has come: they’ll move into a columnist and cultural critic role with the opinion section of the paper. “Four years doesn’t seem like a lot,” Ho wrote in the farewell column. “But these particular years have been quite a ride.”
Ho became the Chronicle’s restaurant critic in 2019 and in 2022 won the James Beard Foundation’s Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award. The journalist won for penning critiques of the Bay’s love of smashburgers, discussing Impossible nuggets, and that $72 fried rice everyone was talking about. In 2016, prior to joining the paper, Ho founded the Racist Sandwich podcast, lauded for unpacking the complications of politics, identity, and food. Bay Area diners can look forward to a 2023 cookbook collaboration from Ho alongside Oakland chef Tu David Phu called The Memory of Taste.
SoMa nightclub will live again under new name
Harlot, the club at 46 Minna Street that closed during the pandemic, will live again under the new name: Madarae. Owner Arash Ghanadan told the San Francisco Business Times he plans to roll out a new cocktail menu, an upgraded audiovisual system, and a $2 million-plus remodel courtesy of the same designer behind two of his other venues, Novela and Barbarossa.
Upscale cafe chain settles discrimination suit
Danish-born Joe & the Juice will pay $715,000 and hire an employment monitor after a federal discrimination charge found the company failed to recruit, hire, and promote women at its American cafes. The Mercury News reports the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made the announcement on February 2. Joe & the Juice operates 11 Bay Area locations.
Mission District Oaxaca cafe looks to expand
Cafe de Olla, the tiny business at Plaza Adelante in the Mission, will take over the space between Beauty Bar and Kimbara, where Baobab held it down before expanding around the corner. Taking over the location at 3388 19th Street means more mole negro and, yes, cafe de olla, but also a venue space for local artists and musicians. The business announced on Instagram its hopes to raise money through GoFundMe for the move.