San Diego County’s move into the red tier means indoor dining is back on – but is it enough? How will our local restaurants truly rebound from the deep economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Eater San Diego shares the latest on indoor dining rules, plus some insight on the pandemic’s impact on our dining scene from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, and other top stories of the week from our local food and drink scene.
Indoor Dining Returns as San Diego County Moves Into Red Tier
The state placed San Diego County in the red tier of its reopening plan this week, allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining for the first time since last fall. Local restaurants are now able to operate indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Along with restaurants, museums, zoos, and aquariums can restart indoor functions at lowered capacity. We talk about the county’s move into the red tier on our Scene in San Diego podcast this week, too. Check it out here.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria on the Current and Future State of Local Restaurants
On the latest episode of the Scene in San Diego podcast, Mayor Gloria shares how he's working with the hospitality industry to help it rebound from the pandemic. Gloria recognizes how some pandemic-area allowances, including to-go cocktails and pop-up dining areas, have been embraced by local diners and restaurants and says that he's planning to make these changes more permanent. Listen to our podcast all about this here or below.
Listen/subscribe to the Scene in San Diego podcast to get the latest local lifestyle stories and news from our local food and drink scene. As we continue to adjust to life (back and forth, back and forth) in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, the way we enjoy our city has changed. We’ll keep you up to speed on how those changes impact the things you love to do in our city. Tap here to find Scene in San Diego wherever you listen to podcasts.
Celebrity Chef Richard Blais Shares the Secrets of His Menu at Ember & Rye
“Top Chef” veteran and North County resident Richard Blais has unveiled his highly-anticipated follow-up to Juniper & Ivy at Carlsbad's Park Hyatt Aviara resort. Called Ember & Rye, the restaurant is the chef’s modern take on a steakhouse. Blais gives insights into a menu that features twists on classics, playful flavor innovations, and some of his most signature dishes. Blais also talked all about Ember & Rye with us on our Scene in San Diego podcast back in January, you can check out that episode here.
Eater San Diego Round-Ups and The Scene
Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries Can Operate Outdoors Without Food
Previously restricted to to-go service unless they functioned as a restaurant and served food, local breweries, wineries, and distillers can now open for outdoor service without having a food component. The guidance does come with new rules, including an 8 p.m. curfew, mandatory reservations, and a time limit for visits. You guessed it – we touch on this in the new episode of our podcast, too. Listen above.
Middle Eastern-Spiced Nashville Hot Chicken Lands in Hillcrest
Baba's Chicken, which was a popular pop-up before opening its first storefront in 2019, recently expanded to San Diego with a first location in Hillcrest. The eatery, which intends to open five locations across San Diego County, specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken but sets itself apart by using halal chicken and seasoning it with a proprietary blend of Middle Eastern spices.
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Candice Woo is the founding editor of Eater San Diego, a leading source for news about San Diego’s restaurant and bar scene. Keep up with the latest Eater San Diego content via Facebook or Twitter, and sign up for Eater San Diego’s newsletter here.