small businesses

San Diego County Restaurants Bracing For Outside Dining Only

San Diego County will be placed on the state's monitoring list Friday, once on the state's “watch list” the state can pull back on reopenings such as moving to outdoor dining only

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Restaurants are bracing to possibly end indoor dining. San Diego County will be placed on the state's monitoring list on Friday which will likely result in closures and modifications of businesses next week.

For a San Marcos restaurant owner, he hoped if everyone followed the rules, San Diego County will not be added that list.

“I am going to comply to the best I can, but what is a huge battle for me is the non-compliance of other institutions,” explained Ted Semprini.

Restaurants are already facing new rules in San Diego County that could become stricter. Since Wednesday, restaurants must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m.

“To take four hours of my peak business away it’s devastating,” said Semprini.

Semprini is the Owner of Player’s Sports Grill, he recently got his groove back re-opening for dine-in and bringing back most of his staff.

But, now that San Diego County fell under the state’s watch list, the state could limit restaurants to outdoor dining only.

“There isn’t enough space for me to be successful,” Semprini sadly said.

The sports grill is a staple in the San Marcos community for the last nine years. For nearly three decades Semprini has been a restaurant owner.

“I could never ever foresee something like this, I said when it’s time for me to go out, I’m going to go out on my own term, to virtually be staring at going out on somebody else’s terms, it’s devastating,” expressed Semprini.

Semprini said he’s already seeing a loss of business because of the earlier last call.

“Yesterday with my staff, we did a headcount of people who came in and left for the simple fact that they were just looking for having a beer or cocktail, we had 21 people who turned around and left the door,” he said.

In San Diego County rules have changed and could keep changing based on the number of coronavirus cases the county sees.

“Anytime I hear of someone closing down you really take a step back and think, "Ok that could be me,'” said Semprini.

If Player’s Sports Grill has to move to just outside dining, Semprini said he will ask the City of San Marcos to extend his outdoor dining beyond his gates. He said he’s committed to doing whatever it takes to keep his business alive.

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