San Diegans are coming out in groups as the city’s restaurants, bars and breweries are now fully open.
“We’re starting to see, especially this week, a lot more foot traffic,” said Kenon Nibbs, general manager at Burgeon at the Arbor. “People are definitely having the mask off, having a lot of fun, and getting back out there.”
For many its a glimpse back in time to what life looked like before COVID-19.
“It reminds me of how things were maybe a year or two years ago, before the pandemic,” said Gumi Sethi, a San Diego tourist.
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For businesses like Burgeon at the Arbor, a brewery, its a sign of relief.
“I’m ecstatic,” Nibbs said. “I can't wait to come in, shake hands, kiss babies, have beer with people. It's what we’re looking forward to doing.”
The Little Italy brewery opened its doors just two months ago, after being delayed nearly a year because of the pandemic.
“Starting to open during the pandemic is definitely tough, but we’ve seen a great response so far and we’re really excited as you can see things are going really well,” Nibbs said.
At Ballast Point, in Miramar, things are also shaping up.
“I feel like the floodgates have kind of opened,” said Kayla Petitte, director of retail operation for Ballast Point. “We are seeing more and more people.”
There’s people reuniting with friends.
“It'll be good to get together with people that you used to be together with all the time,” said Chad Mediate, a San Diego resident.
Many sharing experiences together.
“[I am] really excited to go to a Padres game for the first time in a long time," said Sethi.
Making up for time lost after a long year of restricted pandemic living.
June 15, 2021, marked the full reopening of California – including San Diego County – which means the state’s color-coded, tiered system was scrapped and pandemic-era restrictions were changed.