East Bay diners may remain unmasked, for now

Homestead is selling off much of its kitchen ware; Snail Bar has opened; more Quick Bites.

The Comal dining room.
Alameda County health officials say that for now, diners inside restaurants like Comal may remain unmasked. Credit: Comal
  • If recent headlines have you wondering if you’ll need to tighten your mask protocols when dining indoors, the answer (for now) is no. When indoor dining first resumed in Alameda County in March, it was at limited capacity and with the understanding that diners must mask up except while actively eating and drinking. With California’s full reopening this month, those rules were relaxed (though some restaurants chose to retain them), and health orders allowed fully-vaccinated indoor diners to keep their faces bare. But as the Delta variant of COVID-19 has spread, health officials in places including Los Angeles are urging people who gather indoors, even those who are vaccinated, to remain masked, to the point that a columnist for the L.A. Times announced “Put your masks back on, and don’t whine about it.” But health officials in the Bay Area, including those in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, say that they “they will not change their recommendations at this time,” the SF Chronicle reports. So for now, unless the business you’re visiting asks otherwise, vaccinated East Bay diners and shoppers may remain unmasked (and, presumably, unwhining) if they choose.
  • Homestead, the Oakland fine-dining restaurant that ended its sit-down operations this month, is selling off much of its kitchen, it announced via Instagram. Slews of spices are for sale, as are serving ware and baking ware, beverages and other general restaurant operation-style items. It’s a first come first served, garage-sale-type deal at the 4029 Piedmont Ave. restaurant, running from 10:30-4 Wednesday June 30 through Saturday July 3.
  • As reported by Nosh back in March, world class chef Andres Giraldo Florez has been plotting his natural wine spot, Snail Bar, since September 2020. And now the restaurant is ready to open, the SF Chronicle reports. If all goes well, Florez will be serving up his comforting and seasonal small plates and glasses (or bottles) of globally-sourced natural, organic and biodynamic wines by July 3. Get all the details on Florez’s Snail Bar plans here.
  • You might recall that Public Market Emeryville changed hands earlier this year, but that its owners promised that its food court would remain. Now Diablo reports that its food hall has fully reopened, and that all of its “food and drink purveyors are back in business.”
Eve Batey is Berkeleyside's interim Nosh editor. Email: eve@berkeleyside.org.