After 162 years of raising quality meat and providing Bay Area residents with phenomenal sirloin and pork, Chico butcher Rancho Llano Seco will close in October. The team behind the legendary business took to Instagram to let fans know that “inflating costs, prolonged drought, and the war in Ukraine” are the primary reasons behind the decision to shut down operations. Customers can place orders through October 3, and the business will pop up at its usual markets for the last time on Wednesday, September 20, and Saturday, October 14.
The news is a major blow to NorCal restaurants as — especially after it came to light that fellow meat producers Belcampo were violating numerous health and safety laws — Rancho Llano Seco was one of the key players of the Northern California food system. The ranch in the Sacramento Valley was a practitioner of sustainable farming including raising confinement-free pigs and intercropping with walnuts and beans, making it a go-to order for restaurants throughout the region. Sacramento’s Shoki’s Ramen, Gyoza & Koji; Palo Alto’s Ethel’s Fancy; and Oakland’s 4505 Burgers & BBQ, among many others, were all proud to cite the farm’s products on their menus.
California fast food workers see massive minimum wage increase
For the first time since the state’s Food Council was created last year, labor unions and fast food businesses came to an agreement to increase workers’ minimum wage to $20 an hour. KCRA reports the current minimum wage of $15.50 increases on April 1, 2024, and can bump further each year until 2029. According to KCRA, the arrangement does not apply to bakeries that sell bread as a sole item, such as Panera Bread.
Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning Sacramento restaurant reopens
Vegetarian Midtown favorite Mother reopened on September 12 in a new location, according to the Sacramento Bee. The restaurant closed in early 2020 alongside just about every other restaurant, and until now has remained dark. Now, the business lives at 2319 K Street, Suite B, and owners Michael and Lisa Thiemann and Ryan Donahue are serving the same omnivore-friendly options — including the chicken-fried oyster mushroom po’boy — that garnered the restaurant attention upon opening in 2014.
San Jose Mexican restaurant devastated by fire throws party
Tostadas, the hit San Joe restaurant from owners and brothers Alex and Hugo Garcia, suffered a major fire at its downtown location in the first week of September. To raise money for repairs, the business owners are throwing a big party, Cultura in the Park, at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park on September 16 from noon to 4 p.m. The event is free to attend with birria tacos and more for sale.
Bay Area food TV show pops up to benefit Maui
Local restaurateur and Top Chef alum Nelson German is linking up with Bay Area rap legend Lyrics Born to bring the Japanese and Dominican dish locrio japonese to the recently reborn alaMar Dominican Kitchen. First debuted on Lyrics Born’s TV show Dinner In Place, the dish will be sold at German’s restaurant on September 14 from 5 to 10 p.m. to raise funds for both the Hawaii Community Foundation and the Maui Strong fund.