SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Under new guidelines, restaurants in San Francisco were able to allow customers inside for the first time since the pandemic.
Some restaurants jumped at the chance to allow diners inside on Wednesday while many others were still working it all out, doing their best to keep using the parklets they’ve all now built .
Owners say the new 25% capacity limit is a little tough, but it’s better than zero.
While many were still dining in outdoor parklets in San Francisco on Wednesday, several restaurants were set to reopen indoors at 25% capacity.
“Safety is the number one priority. We want to show the Mayor of London Breed that we can take this 25% seriously and with caution,” said John Konstin Jr., owner of John’s Grill.
From John’s Grill in Union Square to Sutto Mare in North Beach, it was clear diners were happy to come indoors for a sense of normalcy.
“We feel comfortable with that. We’re not going to get reckless and we’ve all been tested, so I feel comfortable about that. We have plenty of space, the stands next to us are vacant,” said Ken Antonini.
“I’m sure it costs him a few bucks, but that’s the way it is,” said Michael Gallagher.
“We have received clients. We have received phone calls from people wanting to eat inside. We want to give people the option to eat inside if they don’t want to, we still have our outside,” said one owner.
Down the street, restaurants like Tony’s are limiting indoor capacity to 19 people and doing temperature checks at the door.
At the California Fish Market, indoor capacity is now limited to 12. Owner Francesco Covucci says the option is nice to have.
He knows he will still have a hard time paying the rent.
“Restaurants were already struggling to bear all the costs and pay the rent at full capacity. Right now, at only 25%, it will be almost impossible to think that we will be able to pay the same rent as before,” Covucci said.
Even still, after seven months of reimagining how their restaurants will stay afloat, owners are grateful for the opportunity.
“I think it’s a good start for the restaurant’s new opening,” Covucci said.
“That extra 25% is going to help us maintain our revenue and stay open all the way. Soon, hopefully it will go to 25, 50, 100,” one owner said.
Many restaurants are still working through the issues as there are several health guidelines that must be followed.
These new instructions were distributed last week, so we can expect more restaurants to start reopening indoors over the next few days.