Even without the impacts of COVID or precarious economies, neighborhood classics from bookshops to bars must someday close. Such is the case for Aux Delices at 2327 Polk Street in Russian Hill, a familiar Vietnamese restaurant to many residents, thanks to its almost 50-year history in the city. The Chronicle reports the restaurant will close on Friday, June 30, so owners Chris and Thiet “Tina” Nguyen can retire.
Chris’ mom opened the original restaurant in 1975 in Potrero Hill, one of the first Vietnamese restaurants in the area. Once the business moved to Polk Street, it gained lots of attention thanks to coverage in the New York Times and visits from interstellar celebrities including William Shatner. “Everybody asked me, ‘What is captain Kirk having?’” Chris told the paper. The Nguyens attempted to sell the business, but since no buyer fit the bill, the restaurant will go dark at the end of the month.
Silicon Valley favorite chocolatier expands to downtown
Shekoh Moosavi, the Iranian entrepreneur and chef behind myriad restaurants, will open a new chocolate shop in downtown Palo Alto. Palo Alto Online writes the confectioner will open Shekoh Confections Cafe at 444 University Avenue, complete with a mezzanine to enjoy bonbons and tea while overlooking the street below.
Record rainfall promises a booming year for wine
After years of drought and wildfires, the grapes in Napa County — and throughout the Bay Area broadly — are making a rebound thanks to enormous rainfall in 2023. That said, the Mercury reports the subsequent cold weather is keeping grapes from fully ripening. Elias Fernandez, Shafer Vineyards’ winemaker of 40 years, told the paper that while fruit production is up 10 to 15 percent, the summer’s cooler temperatures could delay harvest. “It looks pretty set up to be a nice vintage,” Fernandez told the outlet. “We really just need a little more sun.”
Bay Area celebrity chef partners with groundbreaking local coffee roaster
Tanya Holland, the Oakland chef known for her restaurant Brown Sugar Kitchen and cookbooks including California Soul, is linking up with one of California’s first-queer-owned coffee companies Equator Coffees for their Chef Collection series. The blend, called the California Soul Blend, gives $1 from every purchase of a 12-ounce bag — and $2 from every two-pound bag — to West Oakland food security nonprofit Mandela Partners.