Thursday Ten: Philz Coffee Plans to Conquer Boston


Plus Mezcalito opens on Polk, Elite Cafe returns on Fillmore, and The Tradesman will close in a week or so.

Oaxacan Restaurant Mezcalito Is Open on Polk

In the space that used to be Reverb (and Verbena prior to that) comes Mezcalito (2323 Polk), which opened last evening. Inside Scoop notes the absence of mole from the kitchen, and SFist points out that the space looks much the same, but there’s plenty of creativity (sweet potato, avocado, ricotta, sunflower seeds, cumin, shiso) and heft (a market-price prime rib for three) to be found.

The Fillmore’s Elite Cafe Reopens

Sidecar Hospitality breathed new life into Schroeder’s — the FiDi German restaurant where Oktoberfest kicks off tomorrow — and will now turn its attention to Pac Heights. Elite Cafe (2049 Fillmore) will reopen with a new menu that reflects executive chef Chris Borges’ upbringing in New Orleans, blackened catfish, duck gumbo, crawfish étouffée alongside the longtime Elite Cafe staple, Meetinghouse biscuits. Aesthetically, the place got a new look, with lots of Art Deco touches and new black-and-white tile.

Philz Coffee Plans to Do What Starbucks Largely Failed: Conquer Boston

Dunkin’ Donuts is so notoriously popular in Massachusetts that Starbucks had a tough time making inroads. But that’s no deterrent to Philz Coffee, which the Business Times says is plunking $45 to expand into Boston. Having opened coffee shops in and around Washington, D.C., it appears that this strategy is meant to thwart Blue Bottle and Peet’s, which owns Stumptown.

Omakase Turns One With First-Anniversary Dinners

ORG, the parent company of Omakase (665 Townsend), Okane, Breakfast at Tiffyany’s, and both Live Sushi locations, has a new chef. Chef Edgar Agbayani has already begun, but it’s Chef Jackson Yu who made Omakase a name, and in honor of the restaurant’s first anniversary, Yu will create a nine-course dinner with sake pairings on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 21-22. At $350 per person excluding tax and tip, it’s not chump change, but there’s a lot of uni, live king crab, and sashimi and nigiri from Tsukiji Fish Market.

Boba Guys Nab Space Below Forthcoming Che Fico

Socketsite reports that the property at 838 Divisadero will not become even partly residential, and that Boba Guys will go in on the ground floor with Che Fico, David Nayfeld and Matt Brewer’s forthcoming Italian restaurant, will be one floor up.

The Tradesman Will Close in a Couple Weeks

R.I.P. to a really good burger. Inside Scoop reports that The Tradesman (753 Alabama), a charming small-plates restaurant that’s part of the big pocket of eateries on 20th Street — Central Kitchen, Salumeria, Trick Dog, Sightglass, Atlas Cafe — will close effective Sept. 25. It will have had a two-year run, and owner Zarin Gollogly didn’t blame the end on anything in particular, but notes that Feastly, which is headquartered only a block away, will make use of the space.

The Workers Behind the Burma Superstar Wage-Theft Lawsuit

48 Hills talks to William Navarrete, a Salvadorean immigrant who is one of the platintiffs in the massive lawsuit against Burma Superstar alleging that employees were underpaid and prohibited from taking breaks. As to be expected — cynically speaking — there was a stark difference in treatment for front-of-house workers (often people of color with limited English) and back-of-house employees (often white, native English speakers.)

“We got no time to eat, get some air or even go to the restroom,” Navarette said. “The restaurants are really busy and there’s a lot of pressure from waiters to get the food ready in time so we can serve fast. Working in the kitchen isn’t like working in an office, it’s very hot there’s smoke and vapors. I never even got a second to stop because going to the toilet meant losing your work flow.”

The Story Behind the Fat Window on Your Bacon Package

Bacon is delicious because it is fatty. Yet the fear of what is what led the U.S. government to demand a window in every package of bacon. In other words, federal mandates are intended to think twice about buying that pork product. Bloomberg quotes a design historian who says, “This one is a paradox. We want the bacon to be meaty on the one hand, and fatty on the other. It’s an ambivalent package.”

Yelp Isn’t Liable for Bad Reviews

At first glance, this court ruling is a bit of a no-brainer, just as media companies aren’t liable for racist bile in the comments sections.But via the Associated Press, the Business Times notes that it goes deeper: a Washington locksmith claimed “negative review about his business was actually about another business, and said Yelp transferred it to his business in an attempt to extort him to pay to advertise with the company.” The ruling also can’t address the non-constitutional-law issue of angry hordes coming out in force against a business that gets controversially internet-famous — like, say, a lion-hunting dentist — in an effort to destroy the business.

Relaxing Tea Better Fucking Work

This Onion article speaks to me like almost no other.


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