Local Restaurants React to Reopening Weekend Highs and Lows

Downtown restaurant managers talked about the impacts of opening weekend.

NBC Universal, Inc.

It’s been nearly a week since California fully reopened and business is booming, however, the thousands of extra people flocking to Downtown San Diego has made it challenging for at least one restaurant.

Part of that has to do with the Padres playing at Petco Park every day since last Thursday.

Tacos El Cabron located in the Gaslamp District noticed a spike in sales.

“I’m hoping things continue to be normal again, not just for us, for everybody," Tacos El Cabron manager Eric Carreras said.

Carreras said the proof was in their sales.

“When you see the numbers, and you see that you’re running out of product, you know why,” Carreras said. “The full stadium, the full downtown, when you see Sundays, Wednesdays full downtown, you know that things are coming back to normal.”

Normal, like weekend crowds during the first nationally recognized Juneteenth, Father’s Day and Petco Park at full capacity. Those weekend events attracted tens of thousands to East Village.

“It’s amazing to see all of the people out and about and crowds. I hadn’t walked through a crowd in over a year, so that’s exciting,” Water Grill manager Andrea Daoust said. “But the overwhelming amount of business has really taken a toll on Downtown in ways we haven’t seen before.”

The restaurant industry is missing a significant portion of its workforce. NBC 7's Dave Fleming spoke to a restaurant manager trying to change that.

The Water Grill is a large downtown restaurant with seating upstairs, downstairs and parklet tables outside.

“Just because California has opened 100%, it doesn’t mean we’re staffed 100%,” Daoust said. “We’re still challenged in the kitchen getting cooks and dishwashers, and being able to run the business.”

Unless a party cancels, right now they can only service Monday night’s 200 reservations. Like many San Diego restaurants, they’re struggling to find people willing to work.

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