All four of those register-less Amazon Go stores in downtown San Francisco will close on April 1. The locations — at 300 California Street, 98 Post Street, 575 Market Street, and 3 Embarcadero Center — will be shuttered to cut costs. The San Francisco Business Times reports the company will relocate the impacted employees or offer them work at the company’s “fulfillment center” plants — though relocations could be hard given last week’s confirmation the company vacated a warehouse in the Dogpatch.
The announcement makes Amazon the most recent tech and food business to cut jobs in the Bay Area, following Silicon Valley’s Impossible Foods and San Francisco’s Food Rocket, both in just the last two weeks. That said, Amazon isn’t closing all of its Amazon Go stores, though this does mark the end of its Bay Area expansion. San Francisco residents were somewhat hesitant to embrace the cashless shops, which require a bank account tied to a smartphone, given the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 2017 finding that Black and Latino households are less likely to have access to a bank account than white households. Amazon Go was litigated against in 2019 by the city’s Board of Supervisors when they passed legislation requiring shops to staff a cashier who can provide a cash-based option for customers.
Beloved Castro cafe and restaurant eyes reopening
Cafe Flore, known for its triangular Market Street location and abundant outdoor space, has been closed since 2019. But the San Francisco Chronicle reports former server and new owner Serhat Zorlu plans to take the business in a new direction as seafood restaurant Fisch and Flore in the coming months. Zorlu wants to honor the restaurant’s 50-year history and will continue to serve coffee in a casual atmosphere throughout the day, while shifting the menu to plant-based seafood and vegetarian fare, too.
Basque cheesecake wunderkind ends Peninsula sales
Charles Chen’s Basuku, the internet-famous Basque cheesecake business, is no longer available at Palo Alto’s Vina Enoteca. The Peninsula Foodist reports Chen’s last day with his partner commissary kitchen was Saturday, March 4, as the cakemaker looks to San Francisco for the business’ next steps. He told the outlet he plans to unveil his new partner and resume sales as of the second week in March.
Thai restaurant with a Michelin-trained chef opens on Geary Boulevard
Thai breakfast destination Derm closed in summer 2022, and now chef Jim Suwanpanya and sister Tanya Suwanpanya are bringing new life to the location. The San Francisco Standard reports the Suwanpanya siblings opened Prik Hom on February 22, Jim having cut his teeth at Michelin-star winning restaurants Bo.lan and 80/20 in Bangkok.
Persian New Year pop-up at Russian Hill Moroccan restaurant
With Persian New Year just around the corner, Berber on Broadway will honor the holiday with a $65 9-item meal of North African cuisine. And the restaurant is bringing in community partners: Aroma Tea Shop will serve a formal tea service, and Zibatreats will serve banana and walnut cupcakes. The event is a two-night affair, March 12 and 19, and reservations are available through Tock.