Your favorite restaurant might have opened up Thursday for dine-in service, but it's with restrictions, of course.
San Diego County has moved further into phase 2 of California's reopening plan, but county officials want to remind everyone to wear masks and adhere to social distancing.
In Hillcrest, Crest Café manager Enrique Medina opened up and served his first customer in more than two months.
“Excitement! She’s actually come in everyday for as long as I can remember,” said Medina.
Medina told NBC 7 it’s the regulars like Hillcrest residents Rob Horlick and Joe Florence that kept the family-owned business going for more than 30 years, and through these tough times.
“We didn’t know what to expect. I kind of had wished we weren’t the only ones in there, so we could see what other people are doing, but we also felt special being alone. It was nice either way,” said Horlick.
It’s a little different, though. Employees must have their temperatures taken and wear masks. Customers also have to wear masks unless they’re seated at a table. Tables have to be six feet apart. Menus have to be sanitized after every use. Those are just some of the guidelines.
Medina also had to let go of half of his staff.
“Take things day by day. Like I said, it’s a learning experience for all of us,” said Medina.
It will take time for small businesses like these to bounce back.
“We are a little bit nervous that so many may go under. We are hoping they don’t. So a little bit of patronage goes a long way,” said Florence.
Medina said he understands that not everyone will be ready to dine out. But for those who are, this transition couldn’t have happened sooner.
“Just being able to sit down and relax and take a deep breath and enjoy the food. It was very nice,” said Florence.