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Because of Course, This San Francisco Bar Made a Cocktail Using ChatGPT

Plus, accusations of union busting at an Oakland Trader Joe’s and more Bay Area intel

Raven Bar
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

It was only a matter of time before someone harnessed the (amazing? scary?) powers of ChatGPT — that artificial intelligence chatbot everyone’s been talking about — for the world of food and drink. Now SoMa’s Raven Bar is mixing up a new AI-created cocktail dubbed “CraftGPT.” KPIX brought on a bartender from Raven to demonstrate making the new drink, which was created by ChatGPT utilizing parameters set by the Raven team, such as flavor profile and ingredients used (or not used). The resulting recipe is a guajillo chile-infused mezcal cocktail that was refined by the Raven group for human consumption.

“We wanted to see how the capabilities of this new AI Technology would compare to the skills of our talented in-house mixologists,” Raven GM David Luu said in a press release, “and we must say, we are highly impressed by what both our team, and ChatGPT created.” Luu went on to praise the combination of work between Raven and ChatGPT, saying it “represents a blending of ‘old-school and new-school’ which mix together to create a fresh experience.” For further ChatGPT hijinks, the press release ends with a cheery, “Oh, and by the way, this press release was written in collaboration with ChatGPT as well. Welcome to the new frontier, baby!”

Oakland Trader Joe’s workers say the grocer is union busting

Unionization efforts are spreading through the world of food, especially coffee, and now Trader Joe’s workers are attempting the feat, as well — although not without some resistance from the company, employees say. Two workers at the College Avenue location of Trader Joe’s in Oakland have filed unfair labor practice charges against their employer, accusing the company of threatening retaliation against employees who join or support a union, SFGATE reports. One filing went on to allege that Trader Joe’s also interrogated workers about union activities and “[engaged] in surveillance or creating impression of surveillance of employees’ union activities.” The employees petitioned to unionize back in March; Trader Joe’s did not respond to requests for comment from SFGATE.

Albany coffee shop adds wine program because why not

Hal’s Office Coffee in Albany has built its name on, well, coffee, but now the business is adding another element to its offerings with Hal’s After Hours, East Bay Nosh reports. At the end of the month, the business will start opening back up at 5:30 p.m. (after its normal 4 p.m. close) to serve wine, small snacks such as tinned fish, and some live music.

Another pop-up goes permanent

Pop-up chasers who know the scene well might be heartened to hear the news of another chef moving into a permanent space. This time it’s Sandy Thongsavat Potter of Sandy’s World of Eats who’s opening a new restaurant at 643 Main Street in Half Moon Bay called Blue Dragon Pho, Palo Alto Online reports. Thongsavat Potter ran her pop-up out of Breakwater Barbecue, serving dishes such as papaya salad and Laotian-style sausage. The new shop will offer “mostly Asian fusion with a modern twist,” she told the publication.