It is very lazy, and morally suspect, to conflate a food review with the typical SF resistance to what the rest of the world calls neighborhood improvement, and we in SF derisively call gentrification. What is particularly galling is that if the people who lament the loss of a neighborhood dive bar actually frequented that establishment, they would not need to shut down. Instead, they walk by the place every day, presumably enriched by its soul or character by osmosis, and then lament loudly when the low quality booze and the bad food goes unsold, and the place has to close, as if the bulldozers are advancing on a UNESCO heritage site. Also, if you want decor with character, go to a TGI Fridays. The decor at WK is clean and minimalist. It is a very small space and anything more extravagant would end up cluttered and annoying,
After sitting Shiva for the joints that can't draw enough customers to survive, a tepid, dare i say soulless, food review breaks out which in fact fails to find serious fault with anything other than the garnish on one dish and the fact that the writer could not figure out how to east Steak and Eggs (seems pretty self-explanatory to me). Despite the failure to find anything seriously amiss, even the positive review comes off as whiny and annoyed. And some of the most intriguing and innovative dishes, like the Buffolo Style Sweetbreads, don't even get a mention.
The most ridiculous dig about the WK is that the other patrons are actually enjoying themselves talking about their actual lives. I had no idea that there was supposed to be conversation code, similar to a dress code, for a restaurant. As long as they are enjoying themselves, and not bothering anyone else, they can discuss partial differential equations in Swahili for all I care. Sorry that you have such a lonely and dispirited life. Maybe if you drink more of the wine your liked so much instead of the kombucha (which tastes like a drug test sample from a yak), you may be happier and have more interesting friends. This one is all on you, not the Wine Kitchen.
The Wine Kitchen has a great selection of wines, two really innovative guys cooking up great food, incredibly helpful staff, and a very peaceful and soothing atmosphere. In my view, it adds to the neighborhood by creating a very pleasing and inviting focal point in the neighborhood that deserves to be celebrated, not unfairly blamed for the lousy dive bar closing. If you want to write an article about gentrification, then write that article. Don't lay your fear of change or your abject loneliness at the door of the Wine Kitchen.