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This Family-Run East Bay Barbecue Spot Just Closed After 55 Years in Business

Plus, legendary gay bar White Horse Bar just got a new owner and other Bay Area food news

Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

In a post on Instagram on Wednesday night, the family behind Berkeley’s KC’s BBQ announced the sudden and immediate closure of the restaurant, which had been open for more than five decades. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that third-generation owner Kristen Davis cites the ever-rising costs of “doing business in the Bay Area” as the cause for the closure. David tells the paper the family increased prices as much as 35 percent to try to account for the higher cost of ingredients as supplies, but it wasn’t enough for the restaurant to turn a profit.

The Davis family has run the Kansas-style barbecue restaurant since 1968. It was originally located at 2613 San Pablo Avenue but moved to its final resting place at 1235 San Pablo Avenue following a fire in 2017. The restaurant was featured on Food Network show “Restaurant Impossible,” which captured the story of the family business’s struggle to survive. Still, Davis tells the Chronicle the family hopes to revive KC’s in some capacity, perhaps opening a food truck down the line.

Oakland’s legendary White Horse Bar got a new owner

White Horse Bar claims to be the longest-running gay bar in the country, having opened way back in 1933. Now the legendary queer-friendly space has a new owner, per East Bay Nosh. Patty Nishimura Dingle (Club Universe, Club Q, The End Up, Mezzanine) is the bar’s new head honcho, the outlet reports. Dingle plans to honor the bar’s storied history while also stepping up events and programming.

Wines from Manresa’s cellar are up for action right now

Following the closure of chef David Kinch’s game-changing Northern California restaurant Manresa at the end of last year, fans now have a chance to snap up some of the gems from the restaurant’s wine cellar at auction. The Mercury News reports Heritage Auctions is selling bottles from the Manresa cellar online now; the sale will culminate on April 21 with a live auction. Bottles from the collection are valued anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, with the full 233-lot collection being worth an estimated $227,070 to $298,725, a Heritage representative told the paper.

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers just got acquired

On the heels of yesterday’s news about the Federation-Dokkaebier acquisition comes word of another brewery merger. The San Francisco Business Times reports that Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, one of San Francisco’s handful of independent breweries, has been acquired by Fresno-based Full Circle Brewing. Both businesses are Black-owned, the paper notes.

Blue Bottle is shutting down its SoMa location

And finally, if you’re among those reading the tea leaves for signs of downtown San Francisco’s demise, here’s something to latch onto: Blue Bottle is closing its second oldest San Francisco outpost. The shop at 66 Mint Street in SoMa will close, SFGATE reports, after April 14. Workers will be relocated to other nearby locations.