When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in San Francisco, CA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market – to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.
Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of San Francisco’s leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.
If you’re looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!
There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That’s why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.
Mediterranean countries include:
Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it’s no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.
This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It’s best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party – you’re almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.
We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason – this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in San Francisco, CA.
Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That’s because it’s considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.
If there’s one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.
Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life, this “diet” is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.
So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?
It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures’ foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!
Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:
Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.
In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke – especially women who were at high risk of having one.
First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery – we’re always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.
Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It’s refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.
Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn’t have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.
Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don’t start with meats and sweets.
They’re tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.
Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.
Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.
Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you’re essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That’s great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.Free Estimate
The iconic Pacific Coast Highway, that hugs the western coast of the continental US, deviates from one forbidding, rugged section of the shore in Northern California. That stretch in Mendocino County, known as the Lost Coast, is home to a lawless beach, remote ...
The iconic Pacific Coast Highway, that hugs the western coast of the continental US, deviates from one forbidding, rugged section of the shore in Northern California. That stretch in Mendocino County, known as the Lost Coast, is home to a lawless beach, remote bear-inhabited coves and redwood forests that have been endangered by logging since the 19th century.
In an effort to preserve the flora and restore the redwood forests, a San Francisco environmental group has now signed an agreement to buy five miles of oceanfront land in the largest coastal land preservation deal in Northern California in more than 20 years.
The Save the Redwoods League announced Thursday that it’s agreed to purchase the historic DeVilbiss Ranch timberlands, just north of Rockport, for $37 million if it can raise the money by the end of the year. The group plans to save the stretch from logging and preserve it for public use.
“This is a piece of California that inspires,” said Sam Hodder, the league's president and CEO. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The five miles of coastline at the southern end of the Lost Coast is breathtaking, with forested hills plunging to isolated beaches. Waves crash into sea stacks. Lush forests teem with green ferns and thick moss. Redwoods and firs up to a century old tower overhead. Two creeks harbor coho salmon and steelhead trout. Coastal prairies, meadows and woods are home to Roosevelt elk, deer and mountain lions. Endangered species such as the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and Pacific fisher also live there.
Some old-growth redwoods remain on the ridgeline where strong winds snarled their tops, making them less valuable as lumber and sparing them the saw blade.
The property, 155 miles north of San Francisco, is the largest privately owned section of California coastline in the the redwood range that runs from Oregon to Big Sur, Hodder said. It's being sold by Soper Co., a 160-year-old family-owned logging company that's getting out of the industry.
The 5-square-mile property was selectively logged so it doesn’t feature gaping clear-cuts found in some timberlands, Hodder said. Much of the forest is second-growth redwoods that are 80 to 100 years old and top 200 feet in height.
Soper is selling off its land because it's gotten harder to make a profit in the timber industry because of environmental restrictions and consolidation of other operations, said Aric Starck, executive chairman of Soper. Like other multi-generational family businesses, it also faced different interests from a growing number of heirs.
The company has sold all but a fifth of the 110,000 acres it began selling three years ago. It plans to unload all of its land by the end of next year.
“It's a sad point in the company's history," Starck said. “These are truly unique properties and it’s always hard to part with them.”
The area was aggressively logged since the late 1800s and most of the area was cleared by the turn of the last century. Only 5% of the old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees on the planet, remain today. Logging and other private lands kept much of the Lost Coast area off limits until the 1970s when the King Range National Conservation Area was created.
The area is home to the Lost Coast Trail, an arduous hike along desolate rocky beaches that vanish at high tide, through river crossings and up steep bluffs. SFGATE editor Ashley Harrell took on the trail last year and described it as an "unforgiving wilderness."
The trail, which has grown in popularity in recent years, could be extended 5 miles with the acquisition, Hodder said.
The last time a conservation group bought up this many miles of Northern California coastline was 23 years ago.
In 1998 several environmental groups, including Save the Redwoods and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, joined forces to buy 7,000 acres of coastal land north of Santa Cruz for $44 million from two Swiss families who had owned it for a century. The land was saved from plans to build everything from golf courses to a nuclear power plant, and Coast Dairies State Beaches was designated as a national monument by President Barack Obama in 2017.
Save the Redwoods League was founded in 1918 as the redwoods across the west were being quickly lost to lumber. The nonprofit has since preserved over 200,000 acres of redwood forests, including at Calaveras Big Trees, Big Basin and the Avenue of the Giants.
The league plans to eventually turn the Mendocino property over to a public or tribal agency to manage.
“That allows the public agency to get it at a significant bargain,” he said. “The risk the league takes stepping in and buying property is the risk public agency collaborators can’t take.”
Michael Evenson, vice president of the Lost Coast League, which advocates for protecting water and wildlife in the area, said the purchase would further help link areas where diverse species can migrate to cooler areas as the climate heats up.
“If there are only islands of timber company land, which are younger and hotter and more prone to fire, they don’t create these wildlife corridors,” Evenson said. “This kind of purchase could have very good consequences for a lot of species that will seek out this terrain that humans can’t get to very easily.”
So far, $10 million has been committed toward the purchase, but the league is also trying to raise an additional $6.5 million needed to manage and protect the property. The total $43.4 million it is raising is the most it has sought in such a short time period.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
For years, a similar number of people moved out of San Francisco as into it. But that changed during the pandemic. Excluding moves from abroad, over 72,000 more people have moved out of the city than in since the beginning of 2020—a figure that is almost eight times higher than the same period in 2018-2019.The Chronicle received an exclusive look at data on California migration patterns from the California Policy Lab, a research group based out...
For years, a similar number of people moved out of San Francisco as into it. But that changed during the pandemic. Excluding moves from abroad, over 72,000 more people have moved out of the city than in since the beginning of 2020—a figure that is almost eight times higher than the same period in 2018-2019.
The Chronicle received an exclusive look at data on California migration patterns from the California Policy Lab, a research group based out of the University of California. The data, called the University of California Consumer Credit Panel, tracks movements of the approximately 90% of Californian adults with active credit information every quarter. It shows the number of Californians that have moved both within counties and to and from other states.
The data shows that during the pandemic, California had far higher levels of what’s called “negative net domestic migration” compared to the prior two years. That is, the number of Californians leaving the state for other parts of the country has increased, while the number of people moving into the state from the rest of the U.S. has decreased.
However, this change does not necessarily reflect a “CalExodus,” the hyped-up concept of Californians leaving the state in droves. While move-outs have increased during the pandemic, the steep uptick in domestic out-migration stems mostly from fewer Americans entering California, not more Californians leaving the state.
“It’s more about Calentrances than Calexits,” Natalie Holmes, a research fellow at the California Policy Lab and co-author of the report, told The Chronicle.
That being said, some counties — particularly in the Bay Area — did see move-outs increase significantly along with their move-ins decreasing. And several states welcomed a lot more ex-Californians during the pandemic than before.
The data has some limitations. Notably, the 10% of people missing from the dataset are more likely to be less financially stable and people of color. Any quarterly region-to-region moves that had fewer than five people are listed as 0 in the data; we used an algorithm to fill in some of the missing values.
It also only includes moves made within the U.S. So immigrants arriving in California from another country, or Californians leaving the state for another country, are not included.
With these limitations in mind, here are some key takeaways from the data:
San Francisco saw a pronounced increase in outward migration during the pandemic. Net moves into the city were slightly negative before 2020, and began to decrease in the first half of the year. They then took a nosedive in the second half of that year, and have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The decrease in net moves into San Francisco was driven almost equally by move-outs and fewer move-ins; move-ins declined by about 24% during the pandemic compared to the prior two years, while move-outs increased by 21%.
Again, it’s important to remember that the data doesn’t include all moves into and out of San Francisco (and the rest of California), as international migration is excluded.
Previously, the Chronicle used data from the U.S. Postal Service to estimate net migration both from California and the Bay Area during the pandemic. This data suggested that the San Francisco “exodus” had ended in early 2021. The most recent data from the Consumer Credit Panel contradicts that finding. Data experts consider the Credit Panel data to be superior to USPS data, as it does not require a decision to submit a change of address form to be counted in the data.
Of all states, Montana saw the biggest increase in new San Franciscans during the pandemic, followed by Utah. The number of San Franciscans entering Montana and Utah increased by 140% and 86%, respectively, compared to the pre-pandemic period. By sheer numbers, though, New York, Texas and Washington received the most ex-San Franciscans during the pandemic.
The most common points of origin for out-of-state people moving into San Francisco during the pandemic period were also New York, Texas and Washington, though these states received far more San Franciscans than they gave up.
As in San Francisco, more people are leaving California than moving into it during the pandemic, a trend that picked up in the fourth quarter of last year. However, California has been seeing net out-migration domestically for around a decade now, according to Evan White, Executive Director at the California Policy Lab and co-author of the report.
“There’s been a slow decline in net entrances for a long time,” White told The Chronicle. “What appears to have happened in the pandemic was the slope of the line changed.”
This statewide trend is driven largely by a decrease in moves into California, not moves out of it. Moves into California decreased by about 35% between the pre-pandemic period we looked at and the pandemic period, while moves out increased by only about 7% during that same period.
San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara saw the biggest increase in net move-outs as a share of population over the pandemic period. San Francisco’s increase in net move-outs was the largest by far; 74 more people per 1,000 residents left the county during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period.
Ex-Californians disproportionately move to a few states when they decide to leave the Golden State. By net moves, the most popular destination states for ex-Californians during the pandemic were Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.
But the states that saw the biggest increases in arrivals from California were Tennessee, Montana and Idaho.
Additionally, far fewer people moved from Colorado, New Jersey and Vermont to California during the pandemic than they had in 2018-2019.
The most common region-to-region moves in the state did not change much. Where they did, they reflected these other patterns in the movements of Californians and would-be Californians. Nearly all of the top 20 most popular region-to-region movements were from one large county to another, such as from Los Angeles to Orange or San Mateo to Santa Clara.
Still, several changes stick out. Of the most popular outward moves, the pairing that saw the biggest increase was from Los Angeles to Texas; net moves from L.A. to the Lone Star State increased by 20% from the pre-pandemic period to the pandemic.
Oil firm claims its history of publicly denying the climate crisis is protected by First AmendmentBy Chris McGreal Special to The Examiner • January 18, 2022 6:30 am - Updated January 19, 2022 1:46 pmSpecial to The ExaminerExxonMobil is attempting to use an unusual Texas law to target and intimidate its critics, claiming lawsuits against the company over its long history of downplaying and denying the climate crisis violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of free speech.The U.S.&rsqu...
Oil firm claims its history of publicly denying the climate crisis is protected by First Amendment
By Chris McGreal Special to The Examiner • January 18, 2022 6:30 am - Updated January 19, 2022 1:46 pm
Special to The Examiner
ExxonMobil is attempting to use an unusual Texas law to target and intimidate its critics, claiming lawsuits against the company over its long history of downplaying and denying the climate crisis violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of free speech.
The U.S.’s largest oil firm is asking the Texas Supreme Court to allow it to use the law, known as rule 202, to pursue legal action against more than a dozen California municipal officials, including Dennis Herrera, S.F.’s former city attorney who now serves as general manager of the Public Utilities Commission, and Edward Reiskin, S.F.’s former transportation chief who is now Oakland’s city administrator. Exxon claims that in filing lawsuits against the company over its role in the climate crisis, the officials are orchestrating a conspiracy against the firm’s First Amendment rights.
The oil giant also makes the curious claim that legal action in the California courts is an infringement of the sovereignty of Texas, where the company is headquartered.
Eight California cities and counties have accused Exxon and other oil firms of breaking state laws by misrepresenting and burying evidence, including from its own scientists, of the threat posed by rising temperatures. The municipalities are seeking billions of dollars in compensation for damage caused by wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather events, and to meet the cost of building new infrastructure to prepare for the consequences of rising global temperatures.
Rule 202 in effect allows corporations to go on a fishing expedition for incriminating evidence. They are able to question individuals under oath and demand access to documents even before any legal action is filed against them.
Exxon wants to use the provision to force the California officials to travel to Texas to be questioned by the firm’s lawyers about what the company describes as “lawfare” — the misuse of the legal system for political ends.
Exxon claims in a petition, Exxon Mobil Corp. v. City of San Francisco, to the Texas Supreme Court that it is entitled to question the officials to collect evidence of “potential violations of ExxonMobil’s rights in Texas to exercise its First Amendment privileges” to say what it likes about climate science.
“The potential defendants’ lawfare is aimed at chilling the speech of not just ExxonMobil, but of other prominent members of the Texas energy sector on issues of public debate, in this case, climate change,” the company claims in its petition.
The oil giant’s critics say Exxon’s attempt to use claims of free speech to curtail the First Amendment rights of others follows a pattern of harassment toward those who challenge the company’s claims about the climate crisis. Patrick Parenteau, a law professor and former director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School, has described the company’s move as intimidation intended to make “it cost a lot and be painful to take on Exxon” whether or not the company wins its case.
In a highly unusual move, Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, has written to the all-Republican court — half of whose members he appointed — in support of Exxon. He accused the California litigants of attempting “to suppress the speech of eighteen Texas-based energy companies on the subject of climate and energy policies.”
“When out-of-state officials try to project their power across our border, as respondents have done by broadly targeting the speech of an industry crucial to Texas, they cannot use personal jurisdiction to scamper out of our courts and retreat across state lines,” Abbott wrote.
In backing its claim, Exxon’s petition gives the example of the Oakland city attorney, Barbara Parker, who in 2017 “issued a press release seeking to stifle the speech of the Texas energy sector or, as she likes to refer to it, ‘BIG OIL.’”
The press release said: “It is past time to debate or question the reality of global warming … Just like BIG TOBACCO, BIG OIL knew the truth long ago and peddled misinformation to con their customers and the American public.”
The company also names Herrera because he accused fossil fuel companies of launching a “disinformation campaign to deny and discredit” the reality of global heating, and pledged to hold the companies responsible “to account.”
Exxon has, in addition, targeted an environmental lawyer in Boston, Matthew Pawa, who represents some of the California municipalities. The firm describes him as “an outspoken advocate of misusing government power to limit free speech” and alleges Pawa recruited the California cities and counties to sue Exxon.
Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard professor and co-author of “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” said Exxon had a long history of attempting to bully its critics into silence.
“Now that the arguments have moved into the legal sphere, this feels to me like an extension of the sort of harassment, bullying and intimidation that we’ve seen in the scientific sphere for the last two decades,” she said.
Oreskes said the legal strategy is also part of a broader public relations campaign to paint the company as a victim of radical environmentalists and opportunistic politicians when Exxon argues it should be heralded for its efforts to combat the climate crisis.
“Exxon Mobil has for a long time now tried to make themselves out to be the victim, as if somehow they’re the innocent innocent party here,” she said.
The Texas Supreme Court is considering the case after a lower court backed Exxon’s attempts to use rule 202 against the California officials. The ruling was later overturned on appeal.
The appeals court sympathized with Exxon by acknowledging “an impulse to safeguard an industry that is vital to Texas’s economic well-being” and saying that “lawfare is an ugly tool by which to seek the environmental policy changes” pursued by California municipalities. But the appeals court said the defendants did not have sufficient direct connection to Texas for the case to be heard in the state.
Exxon is facing a barrage of lawsuits across the United States. A number accuse the company and other fossil fuel firms of breaching consumer protection laws by propagating misinformation about climate science.
Oreskes said Exxon went further than most other oil companies in seeking to hide the evidence its own scientists collected about global heating and in running a disinformation campaign.
“They’re pushing their freedom of speech as an issue because more than any other company, it’s been proven by people like me and others that they have a track record of promoting half-truths, misrepresentations and in some cases outright lies in the public sphere,” she said. “This is so well-documented that unless they can come up with some strategy to defend it, they’re in potentially pretty serious trouble.”
This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of news outlets strengthening coverage of the climate story.
The Yankee Clipper, who grew up in North Beach and moved back to the city (along with Marilyn Monroe) following his retirement in 1951, lived at 2150 Beach St., exactly six blocks from the bar.“That’s his corner,” Arnie says, motioning to a small framed photo gallery right next to Final Final’s entrance. “But I didn’t put that up until he passed away.”Arnie sits across from me — an absolute tank of a man — almost reluctantly motioning toward other stools. Over there is where...
The Yankee Clipper, who grew up in North Beach and moved back to the city (along with Marilyn Monroe) following his retirement in 1951, lived at 2150 Beach St., exactly six blocks from the bar.
“That’s his corner,” Arnie says, motioning to a small framed photo gallery right next to Final Final’s entrance. “But I didn’t put that up until he passed away.”
Arnie sits across from me — an absolute tank of a man — almost reluctantly motioning toward other stools. Over there is where Golden State Warriors superstar Klay Thompson had drinks with some friends right before the pandemic. And that’s where actor Matt Damon drank beers in the movie “Hereafter.” (You can spot Arnie’s bald head behind the bar 1:20:38 into the movie. And yes, I checked.) Over here is where the NBA filmed a national television commercial before the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cavs and the Warriors (Arnie’s in that one, too — he’s the fan with the Warriors flag hanging out of a second-floor window on Lombard and Baker). Clint Eastwood had (several) Pabst Blue Ribbons over there. Oh, and Giants hero Tim Lincecum used to sit right there, one table over from my DiMaggio stool.
“He’d come in and have his hoodie on,” Arnie says of Lincecum. “These guys don’t want to be bothered; they want to be a human being. Like when Klay came in, his friends came up and bought the drinks, and then you just leave them alone.”
No one on the staff ever bothers any of the many extremely famous people who’ve had drinks at this 44-year-old Marina institution, because virtually everyone on the staff is intimately familiar with Arnie’s rules.
That’s what happens when you’re all related. Yep, Arnie’s three sons, Michael, Cory and Elliott Prien, all work at the bar full-time.
“I always tell everybody ABC just hasn't called to give us our TV show yet,” Michael says.
Arnie grew up in Nebraska, joined the Marine Corps straight out of college (right after John F. Kennedy’s assassination) and spent three years in the military before heading west for San Francisco.
He worked at bars and restaurants all over the Bay Area, before eventually owning an incredible-looking restaurant and bar in the Financial District called The Red Knight. He sold that in 1977.
“Then I took nine months off and, you know, I said, ‘I gotta get back and do something,’” he says.
He ended up buying a shag carpet-covered bar at 2990 Baker St. in 1978 and naming it The Final Final.
“The name comes from an old drinking term,” Michael explains. “Like ‘we're gonna have a final drink, then we're gonna get out of here.’ And then it’s, ‘All right, one more, the final final.’ And two hours later, you're still there.”
Final Final is absolutely a bar you could lose track of time in.
The homey watering hole was one of the first in the city with a satellite TV hookup (and it’s still a Saturday and Sunday sports-watching mainstay thanks to a dozen giant flat-screens). There’s a dart board, two pool tables and a free popcorn machine, plus — in addition to still sporting the original 1936 bartop — one of the walls is still covered in the shag carpeting the place came with.
“That is the original, yeah,” Arnie says laughing. “I kept one wall.”
And while a lot of bars have TVs and pool tables, and at least a handful have seats from Candlestick Park or framed Jerry Rice gloves (Final Final has both), none of them have the Prien family.
An Arnie and sons photo shoot for this story turns into a family roast a couple of seconds in.
“Thanks for showering,” one brother says, as they squeeze together for a pic.
“Did you brush your teeth?” another asks.
As weird as it might sound, this is part of why people love coming here. It’s fun to feel like — even when you’re just ordering a drink — you’re somehow part of the Prien family.
“People get an absolute kick out of it,” says Michael, 31.
Final Final has seen more than four decades worth of change.
It went from a bar packed by doctors and nurses from the still-open Presidio military base hospital until 1994, to being affectionately referred to as “Building F” by employees of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic from 2005-2012.
“They don’t have a Builidng F on campus,” Michael says of ILM, which was acquired by Disney in 2012. “So it meant like, ‘we need to get out of the office and we need to get a drink.' So it was code; it’s like, ‘Hey, I’ll meet you at building F.’”
Final Final is old to enough to have been there when Steve DeBerg was the 49ers starting quarterback in 1979 and Sleepy Floyd was the Warriors’ leading scorer in 1988. But they’ve also been here for a Giants’ baseball dynasty, seven Niners Super Bowl appearances, and a 2016 in the Bay Area that saw a Sharks Stanley Cup Finals appearance and a seven-game Warriors-Cavs NBA Finals for the ages.
“There was so much sports happening, people were going out so often that their bodies were breaking down,” Michael says. “They’d come in and be like, ‘can I just have some water?’ And you just have to go, ‘No, totally understand, you’ve been here for seven games, I get it.’"
Now 44 years in, it’s become a generational affair.
“Kids come in now, and talk about how their parents met here,” says Arnie, eyes wide, as if even he can’t totally believe it.
The bar gets an email every couple weeks from someone, somewhere in the world sharing a fond memory of Final Final, or looking to buy a T-shirt — they still regularly ship out boxes of tees to every corner of the United States, from Maine to Hawaii.
“It blows my mind,” Michael says. “To understand what my father has built with the name and it being as important as it is to a lot of people's lives.”
Which is what made the past two years especially hard for the Priens.
“You're always searching for money. Expenses still go on. You just keep dumping hundreds of thousands into the thing and hope you can hang on.”
That’s how Arnie describes the pandemic, which forced the bar to close in March 2020, reopen as an adult lemonade stand from May 2020 through June 2021, and take on personal debt he says will take two years to pay off (even after being granted government assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program).
Michael says he just recently got caught up on his own pay.
“It was several nights just looking … ,” Michael says, before welling up with tears. “Sorry. Just looking at Arnie, my father, being like … ”
He sort of does a hopeless shrug, before stepping behind the bar to wipe his eyes with a cocktail napkin.
“He’s such a cool cat. ‘It’s fine, it’s fine, don’t worry about it.’ Always Mr. Positive, always. And, like, I know he knew how bad it was. But as the captain, you just can't show face. And that was it. Like it was you continue to move forward. You miss a step? You keep going. There was just no turning back. It was all our eggs in one basket. We have to continue at any cost.”
Arnie says after he got vaccinated, he and his wife Linda started making deliveries for DoorDash to make a few extra dollars.
“When you've been doing something for 40 years, it's like part of the family,” he says. “You just don't walk away from it. You’ve got a lot of years involved.”
Arnie’s sons describe him as an absolute workhorse. There’s a story of one summer during their youth when he worked something like 60 days straight. And even today, the 79-year-old still rolls up his sleeves on Saturdays and Sundays.
“He's our head chef on the weekends during the football season,” Michael says. “He'll be our cook, because we serve, you know, pizza, hot dogs, things like that. We'll go back there and be like, ‘Where’s my corndog?’ and he’s always like, ‘One more minute!’”
Whatever it takes to support four households.
“Yeah, it's definitely made our family way closer than we should be. Because we're here so many hours a day, and then we'll go home to our own houses, but we live in such a proximity to each other,” says Michael, who estimates their four residences are all within 3 miles of one another in San Francisco. “With the pandemic, a lot of families say they got closer but we were already really close. But apparently, there was a gap in between that, and that was closed.”
“It's challenging at times,” Arnie says of running a business with his three sons and wife, before laughing the loudest he’ll laugh on this Friday morning. “But it's also very rewarding.”
Rewarding enough that even after all of the challenges the past two years have presented, they fully intend to keep doing it for a very, very long time. Final Final signed a new lease before the pandemic through 2034. Which means they'll be open for this Saturday's NFC Divisional game between the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers (5:15 p.m., FOX), and for every single one after that for the next decade plus.
“We're not going anywhere,” Michael says.
The unprecedented surge of COVID-19 that has slammed the Bay Area in recent weeks may finally be on the downswing, according to both city and state data.While some of the apparent plateau may be the result of delayed reporting, many experts believe case numbers really are starting to level off here, as they have in some other ...
The unprecedented surge of COVID-19 that has slammed the Bay Area in recent weeks may finally be on the downswing, according to both city and state data.
While some of the apparent plateau may be the result of delayed reporting, many experts believe case numbers really are starting to level off here, as they have in some other parts of the country.
"City cases plateaued," Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of the department of medicine at UCSF, wrote on Twitter on Monday.
His UCSF colleague Dr. Peter Chin-Hong concurred. "While some may call it an early victory call and wait for a few more data points over the next few days, it does appear real," Chin-Hong, who is an expert in infectious diseases, told SFGATE.
Dr. George Rutherford, also at UCSF, isn't ready to officially call it the peak, but did say the timeline matches models that have been predicting California cases will peak in mid-January.
"You’d expect it to peak earlier in San Francisco than in other places in California," Rutherford told SFGATE. "After all, we were where the first case was identified in the U.S."
Rutherford said the hospitalization peak usually lags about one to one and a half weeks behind the peak in cases. However, while the number of people testing positive in the hospital has continued to climb in both state and city data, UCSF hospital cases have been flat for a week.
"At UCSF, we have been holding steady with COVID hospitalizations since Jan. 11 with no major increases," Chin-Hong said.
Some experts have warned that hospitalization data exaggerates the severity of the current wave, as it includes both those who were hospitalized for COVID-19 and those who were hospitalized for other issues and then tested positive for COVID-19, but might have only mild or no symptoms.
Dr. Jeanne Noble, the head of COVID response for UCSF's emergency department, told SFGATE last week that after reviewing the charts of every COVID-positive patient at UCSF hospitals on Jan. 4, she determined 70% of COVID-19 cases were "incidental positives," patients who tested positive after being admitted to the hospital for reasons such as such as a hip fracture or a bowel obstruction.
Her data suggests that in January 2022, fewer people are being admitted to hospitals because of severe COVID illness than in the winter of 2021. That conclusion is supported by data showing that, in San Francisco, fewer COVID-19 patients have required admission to intensive care units.
"The 2022 hospitalization peak and curve will look very different in 2022 compared to 2021 — significantly lower use of mechanical ventilation, shorter hospital stays, a higher proportion of people admitted with COVID (incidentally — these are folks who were screened positive for infection when they were admitted with something else) rather than because of COVID," Chin-Hong said. "The lower rate of severe illness is part omicron related, but certainly and substantially helped by the high vaccination rate — very different from one year ago when they were just beginning to be rolled out."
This trend can also be seen elsewhere in the Bay Area. At the start of the month, Marin County recorded a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. But of the 19 people hospitalized in the county, at least 42% were incidental cases, including five patients in a psychiatric ward who had no symptoms of the virus. That number rose to 48% this week.
On Jan. 11, SF Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax said while hospitalizations had been increasing in the city, the "numbers are not climbing nearly at the level that they would have if we didn't have such great coverage with vaccines." In San Francisco, 85% of the eligible population (residents 5 and over) is fully vaccinated.
"We are optimistic that because of our city's high vaccination and booster rates, we will get through this omicron surge without running out of those all-important intensive care unit beds," Colfax said.
Wastewater samples may also provide a clue that the omicron surge has peaked. Santa Clara County is seeing a decline in the amount of virus found in such samples, as are some parts of Marin County.
"Across the Bay Area, the epidemiology has mostly been shared," Marin County health officer Dr. Matt Willis said. "As a region, we've traveled together through most stages of the pandemic; we've moved together on the timing and scale of waves we've experienced. So when Santa Clara is seeing evidence of a plateau, that can be reassuring for the Bay Area as a whole, but it's too early to tell."
Rutherford cautioned that even if we have hit the peak, the virus will continue to be present in the community for several weeks.
"Half the cases will occur in the downslope. There are a lot more cases to come," he said.
Last week, Colfax said the peak is in sight and he expects the city to turn the corner soon, but he emphasized that people should still get vaccinated if they haven't already.
"If you are up to date on your vaccinations, it is extremely unlikely you would be hospitalized due to COVID," Colfax said.