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This New Law Would Let San Franciscans Drink Booze in the Streets Downtown

A proposed law would allow cities to designate Entertainment Districts in an afford to draw more people downtown

Night view of Downtown San Francisco... Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

A new law under consideration by the California State Legislature would let cities create areas where people can drink alcohol in the streets — part of an effort to draw more people back downtown in the wake of the pandemic. San Francisco’s State Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 696 on January 25. The proposed law would let cities create “Entertainment Zones” where restaurants and bars could sell alcohol to-go; currently, special event permits allow vendors to sell alcohol from temporary booths, but permanent businesses aren’t able to do the same.

Weiner tells KRON4 that making alcohol more accessible downtown could help increase foot traffic. “Getting people back out in the streets is key to the economic recovery of cities across California,” the senator said. “By creating Entertainment Zones, we’re giving people a reason to go back to areas where recovery has been slow while creating a vital new revenue stream for bars and restaurants.” According to the outlet, foot traffic in downtown San Francisco remained about 33 percent lower than pre-pandemic as of March 2023.

Star chef now cooking at popular Oakland bar

The Chronicle reports that chef Gaby Maeda, who cooked at one-Michelin-starred State Bird Provisions for nine years, has landed a new gig at Oakland’s Friends and Family bar. Maeda’s new menu debuts on Thursday, February 1, and is “packed with Asian-inspired dishes that draw both on Maeda’s Hawaiian upbringing and years in San Francisco restaurants.”

Latin coffee shop opens in Sacramento

According to the Bee, there’s a new Latin American coffee shop in Sacramento called La Costa Cafe. Located at 701 19th Street, the new shop serves the usual coffee and espresso drinks — think, lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas — as well as breakfast toasts and pastries including “banana bread, traditional Mexican conchas, and flan.”

Hot restaurant adds chef’s counter experience

7 Adams, the new restaurant from ex-Marlena chefs David Fisher and Serena Chow Fisher, will roll out a new menu option on Friday, February 9. The Chef’s Counter Tasting Experience ($157) is a more expensive and more expansive option than the standard five-course menu and will only be available at the six-seat chef’s counter. Reservations are available on Resy; the chef’s counter will have one seating at 6:30 p.m. every day except Wednesday.

Michelin-starred Osito adds affordable menu

And in other new menus news, one-Michelin-starred Osito, known for its communal dining style and live fire cooking, has added a more affordable menu option. The four-course Classic California menu ($95) will be available on Tuesdays only and will be a “celebration of market ingredients prepared simply and meant to share.” Reservations are available via Tock.