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The Delivery Apps Prevailed

From the Editor: Everything you missed in food news last week

A person checking their Grubhub delivery status on their phone. Photo via Grubhub

This post originally appeared on November 7, 2020 in Amanda Kludt’s newsletter “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world each week. Read the archives and subscribe now.

I don’t know about you, but I spent most of last week refreshing results from Maricopa County, canceling meetings, and watching John Legend sing ‘Georgia On My Mind’ on repeat. Thus: links are light today. If you want a good distraction tonight, may I suggest The Donut King? It’s truly wonderful and only subtly political.

The big thing to know in food-related election news is California voters gave ride hailing-cum-food delivery services a boost by passing Proposition 22, a measure that exempts them from treating contract workers like employees, even though a great many of them do the work ... of employees. It was the most expensive ballot measure ($205 million) in United States history and a huge defeat for both the labor movement and the lets-not-let-big-tech-buy-elections movement.

Dining room at Gigi’s.
Gigi’s in LA
Wonho Frank Lee

— Closures: Lovely Japanese spot Aburiya Raku in LA; a row of heavy-hitters, including Ducks Eatery, Made Nice, Hakasaan, Otto, and Caracas Arepas Bar, in NY; Kargi Gogo, one of Portland’s only restaurants dedicated to Georgian food; and Dai Due Taqueria in Austin.

— Openings: Gigi’s, a French stunner out of LA; Zeppelin, a sprawling rooftop restaurant and bar, in Nashville; Vegas Test Kitchen, a spot for pop-ups, residencies, and special events, in Vegas; a new vegan food truck from Señor Sisig in San Francisco; and Swizzler, an environmentally conscious burger joint from a popular food truck operator, in D.C.

— Boston initiated a curfew for indoor dining, London entered a second lockdown, limiting restaurants to only takeout and delivery, and Paris and many regions of Italy added a curfew to even takeout and delivery orders.

— A growing number of restaurants in Seattle, where the business was already highly seasonal, are going into hibernation for the winter.

— Three former employees of chef Mike Isabella’s former D.C. restaurant Requin are accusing the chef, two partners, and a manager of wage theft and fraud perpetrated over the restaurant’s final two months. It was one of the last in his empire to close following a sexual harassment scandal.

— Chicago chefs Beverly Kim, Johnny Clark, and Sarah Stegner founded a nonprofit focused on supporting working mothers in the hospitality industry.

— It’s time to get rid of restaurant dress codes.

— I’m not familiar with any of these Detroit restaurants, yet I want to buy their warm weather merch.

And this week on the podcast (!): Dan and I talk cookie polls, Prop 22, and the uncertain fate of SF’s Japantown with Luke Tsai and LA’s downtown restaurant scene with Mona Holmes.