Thursday Seven: Calavera’s Día de Los Muertos

Plus Perbacco wants you to put truffles on everything, Starbucks is on a fancy-coffee-bar expansion blitz, and why the Central Valley is divided over cannabis.

A Dia de Los Muertos altar at Calavera (Calavera)

Celebrate Día De Los Muertos at Calavera…

For the second year in a row, Calavera (2337 Broadway, Oakland) will celebrate Día de Los Muertos (Oct. 26-Nov. 1), filling the restaurant with marigolds and altars of candles, traditional Mexican food, and mezcal to honor the dead. There will be a la carte dishes like Uchepo Michoacán (sweet corn tamal, guajillo mole, corn air) and cocktails like the Epazote Southside (tequila blanco, gin, epazote, Do Ferreiro licor de hierbas rinse, lime, carved rock, and horchata air). And beginning on Oct. 31 itself, Calavera is also starting up Mezcal Mondays, featuring tastings from 6-9 p.m. on the patio. Seeing as the launch falls on Halloween proper, costumes are encouraged.

…And Halloween at Anchor

On Oct. 28, the brewery’s usual Firkin Friday, held at the Anchor Beer Garden at the Yard at Mission Rock, will become a release party for Peaches ‘n Screams, a sour beer with a pale malt base finished with ripe peaches, and a happy hour lasting all night — which at this particular venue means 5:30-9 p.m. People showing up in costumes will get a prize!

Organic Coup No. 2 Opens on Kearny St.

The Bird opened yesterday on New Montgomery Street, but Hoodline reports that downtown got another fried chicken joint in the form of The Organic Coup (224 Kearny). The FiDi location is actually the second for the Pleasanton-based chain, after opening in the Rincon Center this spring. There do not appear to be curly fries, but there are tots!

Truffle Season Starts at Perbacco

If you’re gaga for Piemonte truffles, consider Perbacco (230 California). From Nov. 1-12, the FiDi Italian restaurant will over a variety of a la carte dishes — like seared veal medallions over bone marrow gnocchi, or a ragout of sweetbreads, cockscombs, and foie gras — each with three grams of shaved white truffles. Decadent!

Cannabis and Prop 64 in the Central Valley

After the city of Coalinga sold an unused prison to a cannabis company, nearby Huron — in Fresno County — thought marijuana might be a solution to a region mired in low-paying ag jobs and high unemployment. But as KQED reports, residents of Hanford, Calif., think it’s a water-waster destined to bring a “bad element” to town.

Starbucks Goes to China, Will Open 1,000 Third-Wave Coffee Spots in the U.S.

Its stock is plunging and it’s expanding like crazy in China, but the big news about Starbucks is that it’s looking to strangle Blue Bottle and Stumptown and everybody else. Grub Street reports that the company’s 2017 plan for 500 super fancy “Reserve” coffee bars has now doubled to 1,000, and that it’ll open more of the Reserve Roasteries like the one that appeared in Seattle in 2014. Every time Starbucks does anything major, I’m reminded of this amazing Onion article from 15 years ago.

Jim Beam Workers Go on Strike

This Whiskey Rebellion has lasted six days now. As a subsidiary of Japanese alcohol giant Suntory, workers at Jim Beam‘s Kentucky facility are striking to protest erratic schedules and an ill-defined, 80-hour workweek.

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