If you don’t recognize the name Southern Glazer’s, you’re not alone. The company is responsible for getting almost all the big liquor brands including Grey Goose and Smirnoff to grocery stores nationwide; according to Forbes, it’s the 10th largest private company in the U.S. Now, the San Francisco Chronicle reports a competitor has filed a lawsuit against the company for “bullying” competitors, which comes after the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau raided the company’s Bay Area office as part of a larger investigation in fall 2022. This kind of pressure from smaller players and the government is rare in the liquor industry, according to attorneys who spoke to the Chronicle.
The suit comes from Provi, an online company that connects alcohol retailers and distributors. The company alleges that Southern Glazer’s not only boycotted Provi, but also forced its customers to use Southern Glazer’s technology, halted all inbound emails to Provi, and announced it would take no orders brought from Provi. Southern Glazer’s denies the allegations and has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit; a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division will rule on that soon. “If anything gets past the motion to dismiss, it’s game on,” alcohol lawyer Sean O’Leary told the Chronicle.
Santa Cruz pop-up at Humble Sea in Felton
Fans were shocked when popular Santa Cruz brewery Humble Sea Brewing Co. closed its Felton outpost. Now the Lookout reports the lights are on once again, and SC Bread Boy is running the kitchen. Smash burgers and croque monsieur sandwiches are now on the menu Fridays through Sundays thanks to the pop-up in residence.
Sacramento coffee shop closes after 20 years
Located just steps from the state’s Capital, Chicory Coffee & Tea will close on February 1. According to the Bee, the business opened in 2005 and became a go-to for legislators, lobbyists, and state workers. Workers told the paper a dearth of business amplified by a nearby construction project forced the business to close.
Los Gatos steakhouse reopens after facelift
After two potential customers did a 180 when walking into Forbes Mill Steakhouse, ownership decided it was time to freshen up the place. The Mercury News reports the restaurant and bar, which opened in 2003, has undergone several big improvements that culminated this month. Now there’s a Caesarstone quartz bar, wide plank white oak, and new lighting included in the glitzy makeover.
Bernal Heights restaurant offers meal deal
Foliage, the restaurant now open in the former Marlena space in Bernal Heights, has a rotating Sunday Family Meal meant for groups of two or more. The affordable menu is geared toward families and includes dishes such as roasted trout and chocolate mousse. It costs $55 for adults and $25 for kids, with three to four dishes served family-style from 5 to 9 p.m.
Star chef hosts ceasefire letter-writing
Reem Assil of Arab street food restaurant Reem’s is inviting guests to write letters to demand an end to the fighting in Gaza. The event, which costs $5, will be held on Monday, January 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. at her Mission District restaurant. The event will feature popular authors including bestselling writers Ingrid Rojas Contreras and R.O. Kwon sitting alongside locals in the community.