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James Beard Award Semifinalists Flip Their Menu Script After a Difficult Year

Plus, Oakland small business owners and restaurateurs go on strike on Tuesday, and more Bay Area food intel

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

After a year in its North Beach home, Cassava is unveiling a new menu in hopes of fighting off sluggish sales. Owner Yuka Ioroi tells the Business Times that the menu will shift more toward French bistro from its modern California cuisine offerings starting Saturday, October 1, through the fall and winter and possibly into the future, if it’s a hit. Ioroi said their Japanese breakfast hasn’t caught on with the neighborhood and tourists, and that sales slowed from spring into summer. “We are trying this for survival,” Ioroi told the Times. “It’s been rough for so many restaurants and small businesses this year.”

Chef Kris Toliao is “very inspired” by the Parisian nouveau bistro movement, Ioroi told Eater, and he is planning menu items such as croque-madame sandwiches, mussels and fries, and a baked egg skillet with house lamb merguez sausage.

Oakland restaurateurs and business owners go on one-day strike

Small business owners are frustrated with city officials over increased incidents of carjackings and burglaries and have organized a strike for Tuesday, September 26, SFGATE reports. They’re looking to the city for assistance and a press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Le Cheval in Oakland. Participating businesses will either close their doors for the day or just a couple of hours in protest, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Scott’s Chowder House closes in the Fillmore

After a little over a year in the Fillmore, Scott’s Chowder House announced its final day of service was Saturday, September 23. The San Francisco Standard reports the restaurant first opened in June 2022 at 1325 Fillmore Street, and served as a casual outpost of the Scott’s seafood restaurant chain, with locations in Oakland, Sacramento, and more. Another Scott’s Chowder House location remains in San Francisco inside the Hotel Triton.

The Fish Market is auctioning off restaurant memorabilia and kitchen equipment

With the closure of the Fish Market restaurants in Palo Alto and San Mateo comes the inevitable auction of restaurant keepsakes and kitchen equipment. The Fish Market has split its items into two auctions; those looking to pick up a salamander or a flat griddle can view the kitchen goods at Meanwhile, those excited to bring home one of the restaurants’ many mounted fish replicas or artwork can head here. Aspiring bidders will need to move quickly, as the auction ends at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 26.

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival at Off the Grid

This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival lands on Friday, September 29, and Off the Grid is throwing an event to celebrate. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, there will be lion dances, lantern displays, live music, and interactive activities for guests — and plenty of food, of course. There will be specials from places like Hongry Kong, Annie’s T Cakes, and Lady M Cake Boutique, plus there are cocktails and wine available, along with the usual lineup of food trucks. For more information, head to