[BALUG-Talk] venue (was: Re: In-person BALUG at (some) Henry's Hunan restaurant)

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli@cal.berkeley.edu
Tue May 11 05:41:16 UTC 2021

> From: "Rick Moen" <rick@linuxmafia.com>
> Subject: [BALUG-Talk] In-person BALUG at (some) Henry's Hunan restaurant
> Date: Sun, 9 May 2021 17:02:40 -0700

> Today during the BerkeleyLUG discussion, we were pondering the
> possibility of resumed BALUG dinners at (some) Henry's Hunan restaurant.
> Answer: maybe.  It's complicated.  And the situation is fluid.
> _Probably_ yes, at the Excelsior District Henry's.
> Yesterday, CABAL had what might well be the first in-person LUG
> meeting since Before Times (at least, outside of New Zealand):
> http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/conspire/2021-April/011579.html
> http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/conspire/2021-May/011587.html
> http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/conspire/2021-May/011595.html
> (By the way, I just identified the fault in my external speakers
> that impaired the meeting's "hybrid" nature:  I just need to buy
> a replacement 3.5mm stereo mini M/M patch cable.  The existing one
> has an intermittent wire.)
> Getting back to Henry's (a set of independently owned + operated
> Hunan-style restaurants), the main problem is figuring out which of the
> four locations, if any, has reopened for indoor dinner dining.
> 1 of 4:  Henry's Hunan Restaurant
> 110 Natoma nr. 2nd St (inner SoMa district near SF MOMA -- trad. BALUG venue)
> San Francisco
> https://www.google.com/maps/place/110+Natoma+St,+San+Francisco,+CA+94105/@37.7869592,-122.4014437,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x8085807d24a1e2f5:0x4ceeab58159eafb7!8m2!3d37.786955!4d-122.399255
> https://www.yelp.com/biz/henry-s-hunan-restaurant-san-francisco
> https://www.hhunan.com/
> https://www.facebook.com/HenrysHunanNatoma/
> (415) 546-4999
> Google Maps claims no-contact delivery + delivery + takeout
> 2 of 4:  Henry's Hunan Restaurant
> 1016 Bryant St nr. 8th St (outer SoMa district west of Mission Bay)
> San Francisco
> https://www.google.com/maps/place/Henry's+Hunan/@37.7722532,-122.4075852,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xf4418273161f19e7!8m2!3d37.7722475!4d-122.4075782
> https://www.yelp.com/biz/henrys-hunan-san-francisco-4
> (415) 527-6999
> Google Maps claims takeout + delivery
> 3 of 4:  Henry's Hunan Restaurant
> 4753 Mission nr. Ocean Ave. (Excelsior district)
> San Francisco
> https://www.yelp.com/biz/henrys-hunan-restaurant-san-francisco-6
> https://www.google.com/maps/place/Henry's+Hunan+Restaurant/@37.722137,-122.4387277,17z/data=!3m2!4b1!5s0x808f7e8599e34b6b:0x798c1a6227d36806!4m5!3m4!1s0x808f7e85974259cf:0x73f557197a087a50!8m2!3d37.722137!4d-122.436539
> (415) 585-8838
> Google Maps claims _DINE-IN_ + takeout + delivery
> 4 of 4: Henry's Hunan Restaurant
> 1708 Church nr. 29th St (upper Noe Valley district)
> San Francisco
> https://www.yelp.com/biz/henrys-hunan-restaurant-san-francisco-9
> https://www.google.com/maps/place/Henry's+Hunan/@37.7428546,-122.4266541,17z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0xca9a9df03b716aee!2sHenry's+Hunan!8m2!3d37.7434322!4d-122.4268222!3m4!1s0x0:0xca9a9df03b716aee!8m2!3d37.7434322!4d-122.4268222
> (415) 826-9189
> Google Maps claims takeout + delivery
> (The former Henry's Hunan at 1398 Grant Ave., Chinatown district is
> gone, ditto the original Henry's Hunan at 924 Sansome nr. Vallejo,
> Chinatown/North Beach districts.)
> Problem:  Our consensus is that Internet information about the operating
> status of this and other restaurants is mostly outdated and unreliable,
> but Google Maps's data seems overall best.  BALUG planning should
> logically include telephoning any candidate venue during business hours
> and confirming in-person dining.  That caveat having been noted, it
> _looks_ as if BALUG could resume in-person dining at the 4753 Mission
> (Excelsior district) Henry's Hunan.
> That location is about a 3/4 mile walk from BART's Balboa Park station,
> and served by Muni's 14 Mission and 49 Van Ness / Mission bus lines.
> I have never been to that Henry's, so cannot vouch for anything about
> it.
> (I hope this research-ifying proves useful.)

Well, for San Francisco, there are a few Henry's Hunan Restaurant
locations - existing - which may or may not be open - or open for
dinner, or open for dine-in, yet, etc. - or may not even still exist ...

"Of course" many of us are familiar with the 110 Natoma St. location.
So, before pandemic - about 80% of their business is the mostly business
(+ conventions, etc.) lunch crowd.  Also makes them a quite good location
for evening dinner - especially larger crowd or size not highly predictable.
Really no reservations needed - plenty of available space - whereas for
lunch they'd be totally packed ... though for quite large groups, would
want to give them suitable heads-up so they can be appropriately staffed
and prepared.  But last I'm aware of, with pandemic, that location is
"temporarily closed" (probably lower losses closed than open with far
too little business).  Anyway, not sure their current status regarding
evening dine-in dinners - may also be limits as to how many folks are
allowed to dine how close together.

Anyway, some others I'm at least partially familiar with ...

647 Sacramento St.  Smaller location, pretty sure I've never eaten there.

924 Sansome St.  I think I only ate there once, large location - much
dine-in space ... not sure about (nominal) evening crowds/capacity - I'd
guestiate from the location it may be more busy/packed (nominally) for
dinner service.  But looks like that location is probably beyond
temporarily closed (gone?).

1016 Bryant St. - have eaten there fair number of times, but not in quite
a while.  Considerably smaller location.

Anyway, as for in-person, shall see how it goes, notably what's
allowed, available, and what folks are likely generally going to be and
feel safe/comfortable about.

I did some updates this past weekend on calendar:
SF Bay Area Open Source/Linux Events
I'm guestimating up 'till about 2021-06-15 +- will be a relatively gray
area, as things continue to partially open up, but we've not yet
fully made it to where at least San Francisco and the Bay Area thereof
can essentially declare COVID-19 fully behind us and get rid of all
related restrictions ... and safely so (unlike some locations where
for political/economic reasons things open up faster and harder than
is medically and public health prudent to do so).

Also, the venue landscape will be forever changed.
When locations open, what hours, etc. will be quite different,
as much of the work remote / from home will persist - at least in
substantial part - so that will change the business models and customer
flows/models for many surviving businesses.  And, also, many
business locations - and even businesses, will not have survived.
I'm sure over time new businesses will generally replace the
vacancies of those that shrunk or failed - but that will also take
a while to become (meta-)stable once again.

So ... will probably continue to reevaluate the in-person question
on at least a (semi-)frequent basis.  I anticipate BALUG returning
to (at least also including) in-person ... but the particular
timeline and particulars of the when and where, are I think still at least
somewhat open questions at the time.

And yes, Henry's Hunan Restaurant - certainly including 110 Natoma
location - food there has always been quite good if not excellent, and
the prices quite reasonable for the value.  But, although BALUG has
met there for a fair number of years now, I don't know that we're
necessarily wed to that restaurant's location - or another location of
that restaurant ... though BALUG has (almost) always met at a
Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco, and on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
So I'd think we'd be likely to keep at least most of that tradition - as
feasible - and certainly the schedule ... but as to venue ... we shall
see ... and work to figure that out.

Anyone rather to quite local to San Francisco want to do some more
detailed reporting and recommendations for venue ... and even
approximate timing, as things open up?  We've had a longstanding
call on our volunteering for someone(s) to assist with venue planning and

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