Speaking of food in the Bay Area -- we'll get back to our regularly scheduled San Bruno fire coverage shortly -- Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer wonders today if the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, poised to vote whether or not to move forward a booze fee that will increase the cost of any hooch sold in the San Francisco, are slowly killing our restaurants.

Each year the city seems to add more taxes and fees that makes top chefs and restaurants want to flee. First there are permit fees and hoops new businesses have to jump through to open — I’m told it’s much more difficult and involved to start a restaurant in San Francisco than in New York and other places.

Then there’s a San Francisco-specific payroll tax, Healthy San Francisco surcharges and now this new proposed fee that would be levied at the distributor and wholesale level. That means alcohol would be more expensive in San Francisco than in Oakland, Mill Valley or Palo Alto.

Side note, our body loves -- downright loves -- Healthy SF. It's great. Check it out if interested.

Anyway, Bauer goes on to suggest that continued BOS tinkering "will have a chilling effect on the growth and health of our restaurant industry" and that this fee, if passed, could signify "the beginning of the end of our restaurant-related culture."

What say you, hungry readers?