The Poway City Council approved a plan brought forth by Mayor Steve Vaus to buy picnic tables for restaurants expanding outdoors following the county's closure of indoor dining for the next three weeks.
“Just like when I proposed our loan program a couple of months ago, we want to do everything in our power to help our local businesses succeed. You know they’re like family to us," said Vaus.
The owners of Filippi’s Pizza Grotto jumped at the opportunity to get their hands on tables.
“We should be able to keep our servers on staff, our bussers, the dishwashers hours expanded. So I think it'll be better for everyone," explained Michelle De Philippis, one of the owners of the family-run restaurants.
At El Ranchito Taco Shop on Poway Road, Alejandra Barajas looked around the dining room of her family’s business noticing the bite taken out of her sit-down business.
“Usually on a Tuesday night this would be packed,” said Barajas.
She's hoping she has room for at least two tables.
"I hope we can. If there's enough room for the wheelchairs because we have to continue with safety procedures," she explained.
Mayor Vaus said the city of Poway will make sure there's access for people with disabilities and, if need be, parking can be restricted to accommodate tables.
Already 10 tables are available to be delivered. Mayor Vaus said they'll buy the tables for businesses as needed, then post-pandemic, move them to city parks.
He says the prices he's seen start around $300 per table, but noted a carpenters' union has volunteered to help make the tables if the city would purchase materials.