The gloomy afternoon skies and cooler temperatures didn’t lessen the spirit of residents and tourists out enjoying the first holiday weekend with less COVID-19 stress.
“It’s been really nice having Memorial Day be more normal,” said Nicole Caruso, a San Diego resident.
It’s the first major holiday since most strict COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
“It’s a good weekend to get out,” said Jackie Martinez, a San Diego resident. “Whether you are going out going out or just grabbing a drink somewhere it's definitely a good opportunity to get back out there and go to your favorite places and hang out.”
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And what better place to observe the holiday than at a brewery whose origins date back to 1995 aboard a navy ship in Philadelphia.
“I bought a homebrew kit and I started brewing while I was on the ship and then when I moved to San Diego the hobby kind of grew,” said Mike Hess, owner and founder of Mike Hess Brewing. “My friends said, ‘you should open a brewery’ and I did.”
In 2010, Hess opened his very own brewery in Miramar and has since opened three more locations across San Diego. But his success hasn't been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a tremendous impact and it still has its ramifications,” said Hess.
Hess says things have improved in the last few months, especially since restrictions started to loosen up.
“[We are] definitely [seeing] more tourists, definitely more locals,” said Hess.
The holiday weekend has been no exception. Hess says all his locations are seeing a huge boost in sales compared to months past.
“I think this is just day one and the staff is excited about the next couple of days,” said Hess.
An optimistic kick-off to the unofficial start of a summer season that's shaping up to be a little more of what we're used to.
“It feels really good to be able to get out and just spend time with my friends and family and just enjoy the beautiful city of San Diego,” said Caruso.