There’s nothing else that’ll do the trick at 2 a.m. in San Francisco, when what the doctor’s ordered is late-night munchies. Sam’s Burgers on Broadway has always been a popular option, dishing out burgers sometimes as late as 4 a.m. throughout its decades in service. Now, the ElShawa family — who’ve run Sam’s Burgers since the 1970s — will open a second business right next to Sam’s, succinctly called Sam’s East. Customers can expect shawarma and falafel in lieu of pizza and burgers.
In an Instagram post on January 22, the family let diners know there’ll be a grand opening party for Sam’s East on Thursday, February 1 at 7 p.m. Many longtime fans already knew the business was expanding next door, but the original November 2023 open date came and went with no chicken wraps at 620 Broadway. And, yes, this is one of the gilded San Francisco institutions Anthony Bourdain deemed a banger.
Fillmore Safeway to remain open until 2025
The Safeway grocery store located in the Fillmore District will stay open following recent conversations between Mayor London Breed, Safeway officials, and property owner Align Real Estate. The Standard reports the location was to be cleared in March for new development but will now remain open until January 2025 instead. “The Webster Street Safeway is more than a grocery store — it serves as a space that brings together and builds community,” Breed said in a statement.
Sacramento Chinese restaurant closes
The Mandarin Restaurant will close its popular 4321 Arden Way location as of Tuesday, January 23. The restaurant opened in 1981 and became known for its stunning garlic shrimp, but now the Bee reports owner Michael Helmrich is closing as business slowed down and debts piled up. To that end, the family has started a GoFundMe to settle its accounts on the way out.
Iconic Nob Hill bar ditches tiki mugs
Almost 80 years into its tenure in the Fairmont San Francisco, the Tonga Room no longer serves its cocktails in decorative tiki mugs. SFGATE broke the news with a spokesperson confirming; there are still tiki mugs for sale in the lobby and a few larger drinks served in ceramic bowls, but most drinks are now served in clear glasses. The spokesperson said it was for “uniformity purposes” and one bartender told the Standard there was a tiki mug-stealing problem, now addressed.
Southeast Asian chef team-up in Noe Valley
Damansara’s Tracy Goh and Feed the People Collective’s Haley Garabato, who is also a sous chef at Michelin-starred Nisei, are coming together for a night of adobo mussels, laksa palabok, and more. According to an Instagram post, the Sunday, January 28 event kicks off at 4 p.m. and runs until everything’s sold out. Walk-ins are allowed only after 7:30 p.m., so reserve in advance.