With cooler weather and some rain on the way, outdoor businesses, like Isola in Little Italy, fear they could be in for a new set of challenges.
“For sure it's going to slow down because with the cold people won’t want to eat outside,” said Rafaele De Alto, an Isola employee. “And inside right now it's only 25 percent (capacity) so we can't do much."
De Alto said revenue at Isola has already been cut in half since COVID-19 started. He fears the cold weather could make it much worse. He isn't the only one who is concerned about this.
“With the limitations that we have, we try to do the best we can,” said Carlos Anaya, manager at Davanti Enoteca.
Anaya said the cold weather caught them off guard at Davanti Enoteca, but he has a plan for the days ahead.
“The plan for us is to eventually tent up,” Anaya said. “We’re going to tent up all the patio and have heaters and make sure people are comfortable.”
Some customers are preparing for the changes and don't see it as a big problem.
“I mean it's a little cool, but we have our jackets on,” said Erica De Anda, Little Italy diner.
But there are others who don't see themselves dining outdoors in cold weather.
“We're going home now because well, we tried but it's too cold,” said Anne Kiboi, Little Italy diner.
Most restaurant owners NBC 7 spoke to say they are looking to add tents and patio heaters to their restaurants. As they consider ways to improve outdoor dining, they hope San Diegans continue to support their local businesses.