Sam Wo Restaurant, which is believed to be one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco’s Chinatown, could close if a buyer can’t be found, the San Francisco Standard reports. Owner David Jitong Ho tells the outlet that at 68 years old, he’s ready to retire after 42 years of running the restaurant. The business’s current lease at 713 Clay Street expires on January 2025, and the Ho family hopes a new owner will step in before then — otherwise, Sam Wo investor and co-founder Steven Lee says they’ll auction off the restaurant’s historic items and photos.
The restaurant is believed to have been founded just after the 1906 earthquake and has been in nearly continuous business since its founding, other than a closure from 2012 to 2015 when the restaurant shifted locations within Chinatown. The Sam Wo team hopes for a younger family to take on the business.
Are SingleThread’s investors playing Monopoly with Healdsburg real estate?
The San Francisco Chronicle is looking into the investors behind fine dining restaurants such as Michelin-starred SingleThread, which has recently expanded its real estate footprint in wine country. Locals are becoming concerned about the way the investment group behind the restaurant is acquiring property around Healdsburg; in a letter to Vertice Hospitality, which owns SingleThread, neighbors say they’re worried the group’s additional projects will result in “luxury visitor dining at the expense of local residents.”
Devil’s Teeth opens downtown location
Nine empty commercial spaces in the Financial District are being (temporarily) revitalized through San Francisco’s “Vacant to Vibrant” program, which pairs businesses with downtown storefronts for three months. Devil’s Teeth Baking Company is among the first businesses from the program to open, selling its popular goods at One Embarcadero Center as of Monday, September 25, SFGATE reports.
Vietnamese restaurant responds to viral Reddit post over service charge
Local Vietnamese mini-chain Pho Ha Noi was the target of a recent viral Reddit thread after a customer shared a photo of a receipt and complained about a service charge of 18 percent “for parties of 1 or larger.” Owner Helen Nguyen told SFGATE she found the post upsetting, pointing out that many restaurants apply a 20 percent or 25 percent charge similar to her restaurant. Indeed, many restaurants already apply service fees, though there are sometimes questions about where the money goes. In the case of the recently closed Automat, which charged a mandatory 20 percent service fee, employees say the restaurant owners mismanaged the distribution of the fee among the front and back of house teams and were not transparent about how the money was being dispersed.
The Xocolate Bar opens a second location in the East Bay
The Xocolate Bar is a sweet favorite on Solano Avenue in Berkeley, but the business has been steadily outgrowing its tiny home since its debut in 2006. Owner Malena Lopez-Maggi has been working on a second location since at least April and opened the doors to a second location at 5854 College Avenue in Oakland as of Sunday, September 24.