San Francisco’s Entertaining Restaurant Stories

Last year was filled to the brim with restaurant stories that made us both smile and sad; with grand openings to untimely closings, the restaurant industry is a fast-paced beast that just keeps on giving.

The restaurants themselves, staff, owners, and people behind the scenes in the industry are always providing fantastic fodder and news, much of which we take with a grain of salt considering how stressful working in any area of that industry can be. Here’s a light-hearted look at some highlighted restaurant moments from Eater San Francisco that makes us question what we could possibly be in store for this coming year.

Alice Waters: Alice Waters (pictured) is the renowned restaurant promoter and co-owner who voted for the first time in 42 years, asked for a $27 billion bailout, made wood-fired eggs on 60 Minutes, she expressed her distaste for “lesser reporters” like weathermen, relayed her desire for local shark fin soup, and suggested that CA schools need more flowers.

Nate Appleman: Rarely does the restaurant world get hit with such a tabloid-y story, but when it came out that chef Appleman suddenly was out at his two SF spots and NYC-bound, waves were made. “But with all due respect to the shining new exec chefs at A16 and SPQR, the best thing that came out of the whole situation was clearly The Nate-O-Matic.”

Big-name chefs opted for casual offshoots: “Daniel Patterson opened Il Cane Rosso, Roland Passot opened the La Folie lounge, Hubert Keller opened Burger Bar, Traci Des Jardins will welcome Mijita and Public House, and to a lesser extent, even Michael Mina tried his hand at reinventing the wine bar concept in RN74.”

Extremely popular restaurant closings: Baraka, Eloise, Jack Falstaff, Mecca, Two, Postrio, Jeanty at Jack’s, Zinnia, Bong Su, Carnelian Room, Acme, South, Laiola, Pres a Vi, Palace Steak House, Eccolo, Cortez, Bistro Aix, and Azie.

Michael Bauer revealed: After 20 odd years of anonymity and decades on the San Francisco dining scene, Mr. Michael Bauer’s photo made its way around the internet; twice.

Gourmet magazine shutdown: Whether a result of last year’s print media woes, or even a sign of the downscaling food industry, the closing of the iconic magazine broke in October.