Castro St. closure extended indefinitely: Four downtown blocks of Castro St. have been individually closed to car traffic (a pro-gram called “Summer StrEats”). In early September the City Council voted to extend the closure for the duration of the pandemic, and also to widen the range of businesses eligible to use the outdoor space. The Council also approved expanding outdoor business activity to other parts of town where space allows, notably in parking lots.
More info: tinyurl.com/yxrthlnj
Restaurant changes: While the pandemic’s constraints force some downtown restaurants to close (including Le Plonc and Flights), others are evolving. Olympus Caffe & Bakery (135 Castro at Evelyn), a Turkish bakery-café related to Ephesus nearby, had a large outdoor dining area already and has converted it to a “socially-distanced” German-themed beer garden with
food, Das Bierhauz. Shabuway, the Japanese hot pot restaurant formerly at 180 Castro, was replaced by an expansion location for SF’s Udon Mugizo. (Udon are relatively thick Japanese noodles — some udon dishes have long been featured at nearby Japanese restaurants such as Maru Ichi and Sushi Tomi — but Mugizo specializes in them and makes the noodles fresh, in-house.) Michelin-star-winning Chez TJ on Villa St. recently reopened with a new outdoor patio, an interior organized around separate small dining rooms, and new flexible menu options.
List of open restaurants and other businesses: iloveMV.org