Bars Prepare to Reopen With Uncertain Rules

San Diego County bars have been closed three months

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They were preparing for one of the biggest days of the year for bars.

Then BAM! Coronavirus shut them down just a few hours from St. Patrick’s Day.

“We had 40 pounds of corn beef that we were giving away,” said Andy Haines. “We were all set to go and nope. Nope. Can’t happen.”

Haines co-owns The Carriage House in Kearny Mesa with Rachel Dymond.

March 16th was rough for both of them.

“Mad. Upset. Worried,” listed Dymond.

“We didn’t know it was going to go for three months,” exclaimed Haines.

San Diegans can enjoy a cold one while they’re out and about again since bars have reopened. NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez has details on what kind of bars are allowed to open.

The Carriage House was dark until they got word, they can reopen Friday.

“All right. We’re on. Let’s go,” Haines said while clapping his hands together.

While their energy is high, so is their confusion about the State of California Department of Public Health's rules for reopening.

“We’ve been looking through everything. It’s all just vague,” said Dymond. “We want to do things right. We want to open, stay open, make sure everything is done right.”

“Not to mention, they’re going back and forth: Is it 20% capacity? 50% capacity?” questioned Veronica Aguilera.

She owns Diamond Jim’s in Chula Vista. Closing March 16th was tough.

“It was, it was heartbreaking,” said Aguilera.

Unfortunately, she will not reopen Diamond Jim’s Friday. Aguilera said she simply can’t afford it.

She said she needs to order supplies, repair machines that have been dormant for three months and reconfigure the bar.

“It’s not like walking in here and turning on the lights,” she said.

Reconfiguring the bar will require customers to stay six-feet apart. That means Diamond Jim’s won’t be able to serve at capacity. Aguilera said they would likely lose money if they reopened Friday.

“Nothing is clear and right now financially, I can’t do that,” she sighed. “It’s extremely depressing.”

“It’s going to be down. Quite a bit,” said Dymond, who estimated they might make 30% of their usual income with the current coronavirus-inspired restrictions.

Nevertheless, The Carriage House will reopen Friday. Haines said they’re going above-and-beyond with sanitation simply because they’re not certain what’s expected.

“We’re not even going to use glassware that we have to touch twice,” he said pointing to a box of plastic cups. “It’s just better safe than sorry.”

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