Restaurants Prepare Changes With Regional Stay-at-Home Order

Southern California's Regional Stay-at-Home order goes into effect Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

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Restaurants will have to transition back to similar operations implemented in March by Sunday night.

Since Southern California met the criteria to fall under the Regional Stay-at-Home order, restaurants will have to offer take-out and delivery options only.

“I was looking forward for Christmas, hoping that we could have some business. This one was really a shock for me, a shock,” said Federica Penn, co-owner of Operacaffee in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Penn said she and her mom moved to the U.S. to start their own business and this year they almost lost it.

“It’s our life. It’s all we have. It’s sad, it’s scary. We were close to closing before they reopened us,” Penn said.

Penn said she and her mom spent almost $5,000 on creating an outdoor patio to accommodate more people and try to make ends meet.

“We had to do all the electricity and table, chairs, everything else," she said.

Penn said she’s ready to comply but understands why others are resisting. 

“It’s a tough situation,” Penn said.

Sandra Cardet, owner of Havana Grill in Clairemont, said her business has also taken a big hit. But she supports the restrictions ordered by Governor Newsom.

“I don’t have a problem with it because I trust the scientists who advise Governor Newsom and our state legislators. I’m not going to presume I know more than epidemiologists and the scientists,” Cardet said.

She said she’s lost three people to the virus and will do whatever it takes to slow the spread.

“We’re not going to go back to normal for some time, and we better get used to it, because I’d rather be healthy and alive than dead with an open restaurant,” Cardet said.   

Penn and Cardet said they're thankful for the community's support and hope they continue to support them during this challenging time. Both restaurants are offering to-go. Penn said Operacaffe is offering a three-course Christmas dinner special with free delivery.

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