Welcome to am Intel, your roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
It was first of all the return of the masks. Then, on Friday, August 20, the citywide mandate requiring proof of vaccination for customers who wish to dine or drink inside went into effect. Today, new data from OpenTable indicates the potential impact on restaurants in San Francisco: Dining is down 16% in San Francisco from July, with business down as much as 66% in below 2019 levels. Together, these numbers indicate that restaurants in San Francisco were among the hardest hit in the country in August, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
The reasons can certainly be debated – the last weeks of August are often slow for restaurants across the country, due to vacationing customers and the late summer doldrums. The figures point to a particularly difficult time for restaurants, however, as they experience a combination of “difficult diners, staff shortages and looming safety considerations”. Specifically, top San Francisco restaurants like China Live have seen reservation cancellations increase 15% in recent weeks, according to the the Chroniclewhile at Warung Siska in Redwood City, business is down 15% overall.
It’s not all bad news, however – the cancellations mean China Live was able to accept more walk-in people from its Chinatown neighborhood. Demand for outdoor dining is also high, with around 30% of reservations in San Francisco over the past six weeks for outdoor tables, nearly double the rate of outdoor reservations in other cities around the world. world. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Bake Sum bakery’s atmospheric year-long rise culminated yesterday with the opening of its new Oakland bakery at 3249 Grand Avenue. Bake Sum has officially opened the doors to its first permanent location, after a year of exiting the Bread Project in Berkeley and selling bakery boxes at locations in San Francisco and Redwood City (with great success). Blending French techniques and Asian flavors, diners can expect creations ranging from purple pineapple buns to loco moco danishes to a halo halo croissant filled with ube pastry cream.
- In just five weeks, the Dixie Fire, burning about 175 miles northeast of San Francisco, became the second-largest wildfire in state history. By Sunday, it had reached more than 725,000 acres, covering an area twice the size of Los Angeles. Among the more than 1,200 structures that were destroyed is the Gin Mill, a 1930s gold rush-era bar in the Plumas National Forest. The beloved local bar was one of the few in Plumas County and, as San Francisco Gate says, probably one of the only private drinking establishments in the middle of a national forest. Check out the history of SFGate for the full story of the historic bar. [SFGate]
- Ever since OpenTable announced the introduction of a feature to check the guest’s vaccination status, there has been speculation as to how and what this feature actually does, given that it only allows people in the restaurants for which they have made reservations. Now, Fortune reports that OpenTable is partnering with airport security firm Clear for a vaccination verification app. The free app securely links a person’s verified identity to their proof of vaccination from hundreds of vaccine providers and pharmacies, according to Fortune. It will be available for iPhone and Android in September. [Fortune]