Hey there, San Francisco.
It’s wild to think that at this time next week, you could be sitting at a packed bar or restaurant, inside! Or that the little circles outside your local coffee shop, meant to promote social distancing, may disappear. Or that your trusty face mask, which has seen a lot of action over the past 15 months, likely won’t be needed.
But that’s what city officials confirmed Tuesday night when they said San Francisco would follow California’s plan to lift nearly all pandemic restrictions on June 15.
“It’s simple: We are aligning with the state,” Dr. Susan Philip, the city’s Deputy Health Officer, said. “We are opening San Francisco.”
In practice, that means restaurants, bars, retail shops, you name it, will be able to open at 100% capacity indoors and out. It also means mask restrictions mostly go away for those who are vaccinated, except at certain “mega-events” (where thousands of people are gathering), on public transportation (until September), and in the office if not everyone is fully vaccinated (something that the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health is reconsidering this week).
As Eater wrote, individual business owners also have the right to set their own rules and can “continue spacing out tables, requiring masks, or asking to see vaccine cards” if that makes their staff and customers more comfortable.
“Let me say this. It’s going to be a big change,” Breed said on Tuesday. “The city is coming alive, but not everyone moves at the same pace...If you see someone wearing a mask, and the rules say they don’t need to, just let them be...Maybe it’s how they feel comfortable. If someone says they need a little space, give them some space.”
And with that...onto some more news…
🚔 Last week, the SFPD arrested five men and seized 16 pounds of fentanyl, which Police Chief Bill Scott said amounted to “enough lethal overdoses to wipe out San Francisco's population four times over.” There are roughly 875,000 people living in the city. (Chronicle)
☕️ The Board of Supervisors rejected an environmental-impact appeal aimed at stopping The Creamery (a coffee shop popular among tech industry folks) from moving into its new 14th and Mission location. As Supervisor Hillary Ronen said, the environmental act (known as CEQA), “doesn’t cover gentrification.” (48 Hills)
👀 Ritual Coffee owner Eileen Rinaldi has fired her husband from the company after he used a racial slur last month during an argument over a parking spot. “I regret the incident, and feel terrible about it,” John Rinaldi told the Chronicle. “I am deeply disappointed in myself for meeting hostility with hostility.” (Chronicle)
😔 Franklin Market owner Petros Yohannes has reportedly lost his left eye and is struggling to regain full sight in his right eye after a male suspect stabbed him multiple times last week at the Lower Pac Heights corner store. Yohannes’ daughter, who started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses, said her “parents have been proud small business owners in San Francisco for 25 years” and had plans to retire in the coming months. (SFist)
✈️ According to a recent survey by the US Census Bureau that ended in late May, 31% of adults in the San Francisco area said they have an overnight trip planned at least 100 miles away from home within the next four weeks. That’s the third highest percentage among major US cities. (Chronicle)
🍽 The corner restaurant space next to Patricia’s Green in Hayes Valley (previously occupied by Stacks) has a new tenant after sitting empty for a year. It’s still unclear what’s moving in and when, but according to a liquor license application posted in the window, the restaurant group behind The Brixton and Rambler will run it. (SFGate)
😋 On Wednesday, Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho unveiled her “Top San Francisco Restaurants” which range from three-Michelin starred Atelier Crenn to late-night burrito haven, El Farolito. (Chronicle)
Alice Chu and Roger Pincombe, a married Twin Peaks couple who both work at Salesforce as software engineers, took over the historic Great Star Theater in Chinatown late last year and have been working ever since to restore it, the Chronicle reported on Wednesday.
This weekend, the theater is set to reopen.
“We’re honoring the history of the theater, but also making it cleaner and more comfortable,” Pincombe told the Chronicle. “If you could have seen what this place looked like in November when we took over. There have been a lot of last-minute headaches.”
The couple plans on hosting movies, plays, variety shows and more in the 410-seat space where actor Bruce Lee reportedly spent time as a child watching his father, a Cantonese opera singer, perform.
That’s all for today! Thank you to everyone who showed us some love on Product Hunt today. It was a big help and all the comments were so nice. Y’all are the best!
Also, sorry for no photos today! Having some technical issues and figured it was best just to get the news out.
Have a great night and see you tomorrow! - Nick B.