SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — It’s been exactly a month since the San Francisco Bay Area’s Stay-At-Home order went into effect and as the days mount, the financial pressures on restaurateurs who barely cling increase.
Bask restaurant owner Sabrina Thillard has decided to temporarily close her tapas restaurant to give her team a break. She has been running Bask for 9 years.
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“I think the unknown is the hardest part, and honestly, it’s been so long now that we’ve always been thinking about how many hits we’re going to take,” Thillard said.
Just a day after deciding to reopen for takeaway and delivery services this weekend, vandals broke down the front door, adding yet another burden to the already struggling business.
Thillard says without outdoor dining, business is down 95% from the same time last year. She had also spent around $10,000 building a small park, which sat empty for over a month.
“We have homeless people relaxing in our parklet. We clean it quite often, just because we don’t know what’s going on when we’re not around,” Thillard added.
It was also slow at Zero Zero in SoMa, which is known for its wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas. Chef and owner Bruce Hill said he cut everything in December and laid off three employees.
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The large dining area can accommodate up to 150 people.
“It’s funny, I found an old receipt from a year ago and it was a party, it was a Moscone convention, and they spent as much on that party as we make in a week on take-out business,” Hill said.
Critical care availability in the Bay Area was 3.4% on Sunday, still well below the 15% target.
The streets of San Francisco remained eerily empty this weekend. The mild, warm weather would have made alfresco dining a popular option had it been permitted.
“We’re ready to go as soon as the city feels safe again and customers feel safe again,” Hill said.
Despite the financial blows, Thillard shares the same optimism.
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“I love what I do, and that’s taking care of people and making them enjoy a night out with friends and family, and I’m determined to get that back,” she said.