Bay Briefing: SF’s Latest Dining Trend

Hello, Bay Area. It’s Tuesday, February 22, and a new map shows where the latest wave of COVID has swept through San Francisco. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

Ritual Coffee in San Francisco; Reem’s in San Francisco and Oakland and Local Butcher Shop and Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley are all under new management, and the management is the workers themselves.

One of the biggest trends to emerge from the pandemic in the hospitality industry has been the conversion to worker ownership. Small businesses have turned to co-ops with their employees to stay afloat, rescuing restaurants on the verge of closing as longtime owners look to sell.

With this comes a new era for worker protection. In places that have converted to worker-owned businesses, employees say the model helps distribute wealth and is fairer to those traditionally excluded from decision-making processes.

Learn more about Elena Kadvany.

Affordable is no longer

Leroy Beasley unpacks his wife’s mixing desk in their apartment at the Frederick Douglas Haynes Garden Apartments in San Francisco.

Bronte Wittpenn/The Chronicle

Over the next four years, the rent for a San Francisco family’s apartment in a Fillmore affordable housing complex will more than double. What cost $1,408 a month before a renovation will cost $3,971 by 2026.

The price hike stems from a condition of the Housing Act that exempts federally funded affordable housing complexes from rent control. This isn’t the first time a group of apartments have lost rent control because of a tax-credit renovation.

Read more from JK Dineen.

Virus updates

Juan Salazar restocks the shelves at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.

Juan Salazar restocks the shelves at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.

Stephen Lam/The Chronicle

• COVID dominance spread from the marina to low-income neighborhoods when the omicron variant hit San Francisco. But as with other waves, this iteration of the virus has hit black and Latino communities the hardest.

• UCSF epidemiologist Dr. Bob Wachter is not yet hanging up his face masks. Here are the metrics he’s monitoring to determine when to go mask-free.

around the bay

Bel Marin Keys in Novato has seen the strongest home value growth in the Bay Area during the pandemic, according to Zillow.

Bel Marin Keys in Novato has seen the strongest home value growth in the Bay Area during the pandemic, according to Zillow.

Santiago Mejia/The Chronicle

Hottest area: A small community in Marin County has attracted outsized interest from prospective homeowners. More: Can you guess how much this Napa home sold for? (Hint: Unlike many other homes we’ve featured, this one actually went well below its asking price.)

Weather forecast: It’s going to be cold. The Bay Area could see its first rain in 45 days – and snow in the East Bay.

Rename: The famous San Francisco hotel named after Sir Francis Drake gets a makeover and changes its name.

Furious Appetite: A very large and very hungry black bear known as Hank the Tank is at risk of euthanasia after breaking into homes in South Lake Tahoe.

Housing crisis on campuses: A bill would exempt California’s public universities from environmental rules that forced UC Berkeley to limit enrollment.

Campaign Contributions: The California Democratic Party decides to refuse donations from certain fossil fuel companies and to review funds from law enforcement agencies individually.

By the numbers: More San Francisco voters turned out in favor of the school board recall than elected them in 2018. Also: San Francisco Mayor London Breed refuted arguments that the school board recall was a rejection of progressive politics, saying “we’ve let our kids down.”

Death investigation: The body of a 16-year-old girl was found in an alley in SoMa last week.

Assault at McDonald’s: Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a woman who allegedly attacked another customer at a Richmond drive-thru.

A big disconnect: In San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Internet is so bad that business owners still rely on old dial-up or DSL connections. How did it go in the tech capital of the country?

From Carl Nolte: San Francisco may never be the same again. But it will always be San Francisco.

Remember when…: The Winter Olympics have come to Tahoe? Back to the 1960 Winter Games.

What to eat and drink

Tuna at Estiatorio Ornos in San Francisco.

Tuna at Estiatorio Ornos in San Francisco.

Santiago Mejia/The Chronicle 2021

You have to hand it to restaurant critic Soleil Ho – eating at eight Michael Mina restaurants for a story is no small feat. But despite confusion over the appeal of a cluster of famous restaurants, Ho has found some little gems along the way. Get the crudo and browse the menu from there.

Meanwhile, wine critic Esther Mobley’s prediction is that umeshu is about to have its time in the spotlight. It’s hard to source locally, but Bay Area restaurants and distillers are using ume in all kinds of drinks these days. Even in times of shortage, it is more popular than ever.

Bay Briefing is written by Gwendolyn Wu and sent to readers’ inboxes weekday mornings. Sign up for the newsletter here and contact the writer at [email protected]

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