A Votre Sante
The Bay Bread team has done it again. Pascal, Lori, and Fred have won the rights to operate the bankrupt Oh La La chain of cafes. There are nine outlets around the city, from sit down with salads to walk-up to-go windows. This means huge growth for the masterminds behind the Pine Street Boulangerie and the upcoming Chez Nous on Fillmore. P.S. Have you tasted their delicious French macarons yet?
Late Harvest in the Valley
Our friends up in the Napa and Sonoma valleys are biting their nails: The unseasonably cold summer has left half this year's grapes hanging unripe on the vine. Hopefully this latest wave of warmth will be enough to get the fruit plump and juicy, or we'll all be forced to dig into our cellar back-stock for those 2002 dinner parties.
Is there anything uglier in San Francisco? I refer, of course, to the pus-filled eyesore of a McDonald's on Van Ness. Some color consultant thought parochial-school green with puke green highlights would be just the right touch for the fast food titan. And both colors clash wonderfully with the gold of the arches and that sunny Mickey D red. Tag it now!
Open and Shut
Flower Market Cafe, voted the Best Place to Overhear Courthouse Gossip in SF Weekly's Best of San Francisco 1999, is closed for a major expansion. ... Pauli's Cafe, an Upper Fillmore breakfast mainstay for almost two decades, shut down without a peep. Your guess is as good as mine, but the place is emptied out and the phone is disconnected. ... JohnFrank is on its way: The schizophrenically named restaurant is opening on the busy intersection of Church and Market. The sign is up and the paint is dry -- now, if they could just get that guy on the corner to move his shopping cart. ... Boys Toys will open shortly in the old and long-vacant Keystone space at the far end of Broadway. The plan is a gentleman's (read: topless) club with full bar and four-star dining. Expect lotsa melons on the menu.
Go for the Gold
Graham Kimura, the talented bartender and entertainer at Thanh Long on Judah, certainly has the competitive spirits spir- it. First he won the Finlandia infused vodka event and bagged a trip to Hawaii; now he's placed first in his division for the Beefeater gin cocktail competition. Graham will represent the West Coast at the finals in New Yawk. Look for mixology as an exhibition sport in the 2000 Olympics.
I bid farewell to a very good and simple man: Gianfranco Fulvio Giotta of Caffe Trieste. A humble and warm host at his family's cafe, Gianfranco offered me shelter many a cold evening in my aimless bohemian days. And Trieste still will, but without Gianfranco. It seems fitting, now, that "Trieste" is such a close cousin to "triste." Buona sera!
Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail Coverte@aol.com and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.