National City

Some Bar Workers Headed Back to Unemployment After County Closure

The closure goes into effect at midnight on July 1. All additional reopenings will be paused until at least August 1, when county officials will reevaluate guidance for San Diego

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San Diego County has ordered all bars, wineries and breweries that do not serve food to close by the end of the month, officials announced Monday.

The new closure is disappointing to many business owners, of course. For the last few weeks, many bars, pubs and wineries across San Diego County reopened under a variety of restrictions, but with the food requirement, not all of them will continue to operate.

At the Machete Beer House on Highland Avenue in National City, they have implemented new restrictions since reopening June 10.

“I’m a ‘beertender,’ but with COVID, there’s two roles we have to play,” said Adam Cornejo, an employee at Machete Beer House. "There’s a check-in station at the door, so we switch roles, and it’s something we do to keep the community and staff safe as well."

Despite efforts to physically distance guests by spacing out tables, requiring customers to wear and checking temperatures at the door, the Machete Bar will close its doors for a second time this year.

“It’s tough right now, it’s tough for everyone,” said Machete Beer House owner Eddie Trejo.

Cornejo said that after months of unemployment, he was thrilled to return to his livelihood, but now he must again wait to see when county health leaders deem it safe to reopen.

“I was seeing all the regulars coming back, and they were more than friends; they are family,” Cornejo said.

While San Diego County was not ordered or recommended by the state to close bars down, county health leaders decided to order the closure as a precaution.

“Obviously, I don’t want to shut down, but if they feel the threat to public health is great enough, then we have to shut down,” said Trejo.

For the beertender Cornego, it's back to square one.

“We go back home and are just waiting to have the news break again to reopen our doors and let customers back in again,” Cornejo said.

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