First Weekend Restaurants Offer In-Person, Outdoor Dining Since Stay-at-home Order Lifted

Restaurant owners are banking on sales after reopening during a three-series storm

NBC Universal, Inc.

It's the first weekend restaurants are offering in-person dining since the stay-at-home-order was lifted. But just as they were given the green-light, a series of storms dampened their reopening.

Local business owners told NBC 7 they’re cautiously optimistic about opening their doors for good.

“When we got the news this time, we were a little hesitant. We’ve been doing the open, close, open, close, thing a lot. But we were, more than anything, super excited,” said Steve Billings. He and his wife own Original 40 Brewing in North Park. He said they’re hoping for a much-needed boost in sales this weekend.

“We’re not just banking on it, we’re dependent on it,” said Billings, after a three-series storm slammed San Diego county during their first week's reopen. “I would say the rain hit us about 75 percent, so it was a pretty big hit.”

Another financial hit after already spending money for outdoor dining space.

“Every transition has just been more money, buying outdoor furniture, buying heaters, getting more permits,” explained Billings, as he looks ahead on a promising weekend.

“Looks like it’s going to be a nice weekend, a little chilly, but with heaters and jackets people seem to be happy to be out and about,” said Billings.

Around the corner at Tajima Ramen North Park, restaurant manager, Jazzy Condalor, said his team welcomes the cool weather.

“Ramen excels in that kind of weather,” explained Condalor. “We were getting a lot of calls. We’re getting a lot of people coming and saying ‘Thank goodness you opened back up. We missed you guys,’ I think it’ll be a good weekend.”

The county of San Diego is enforcing restrictions recommended by the state. Restaurant guests must wear masks when not seated at their table and maintain at least six feet distance from others.

And to give you some perspective on stricter guidelines elsewhere; in Los Angeles county all televisions or screens have to be turned off, in an effort to help keep people from crowding while watching sporting events. 

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