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SF Sweeps James Beard Noms; Hard Water Opens; Chez Panisse Targeting Early June Reopening; More!

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The nighttime scene at the Slanted Door. [Photo: Lesley Ford]

SAN FRANCISCO—SF made another strong showing in the nominations for this year's James Beard Awards, with State Bird Provisions and Rich Table both up for Best New Restaurant, Slanted Door in the hunt for Outstanding Restaurant, Quince and Meadowood nominated for Outstanding Service, and Bar Agricole up for Outstanding Bar Program. Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food) and Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water) are both up for Rising Star Chef, and Gary Danko for Outstanding Chef. And there are still more Bay Area nominees! Click over to see 'em all.

THE EMBARCADERO—Despite a brush with the Charles Phan plumbing curse, Hard Water is now open on Pier 3, serving a dizzying selection of American whiskeys, plus Southern fare and raw-bar offerings.

BERKELEY—It's been a tough week for the Chez Panisse team; in the aftermath of the March 7 fire, the damage is worse than Alice Waters and crew thought, and the reopening has now been pushed to the first week of June.

THE MISSION—We talked to Abbot's Cellar manager Hal Russek on what it takes to man the doors at the popular Valencia beer palace, and how he dealt with an appearance by "Facebook boy" (that's Mark Zuckerberg to the rest of us).

SAN FRANCISCO—Restaurant critic Jesse Hirsch is leaving the Examiner after a year for a job in New York; he'll be replaced by a rotating quartet of new critics.

LOWER PACIFIC HEIGHTS—A month after it opened its doors, we took the Internet's temperature to see what's soaring and what needs improvement at Belinda Leong's mega-popular b. patisserie.

CASTROChipotle wants to open their 10th SF location in the former Home space in the Castro, and they've started a petition to gain support. Eater readers promptly responded by creating a counter-petition to keep them out, because this is San Francisco and that happens here.

BERKELEY—Sierra Nevada Brewing Company will be opening its first taproom outside of its Chico headquarters in Berkeley this fall, with rare beers that are typically only available at the brewery and at events.