San francisco restaurants

San Francisco restaurants welcome diners inside at limited capacity

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The red level of the state’s reopening plan is in effect in San Francisco, Napa and Santa Clara counties. Restaurants can now allow customers in at up to 25% of dining room capacity.

Roxanne’s Café in San Francisco’s Lower Nob Hill happily welcomed the breakfast crowd indoors on Wednesday morning and now plans to start bringing back the 14 employees who had to be laid off due to the closure.

“I can’t even express my feelings. Everyone has been waiting for this moment. I’m sure all small business owners like us have been waiting for their moment. I’m very excited. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said said owner Henry Hejazi while overseeing two tables full of customers.

RELATED: 3 Bay Area Counties Join Tier Red, Ease Reopening Restrictions

A couple visiting from San Diego were delighted to eat inside at Roxanne’s, after a cold dinner outside.

“It was horrible last night, it was cold. We went to Pier 39 to eat. I was very surprised today that we were able to eat inside. It’s more normal and better. I’m just glad things are back to normal,” Nayyi Perez mentioned.

“Nothing beats having dinner inside. They want to chat and nobody wants to eat on the street,” Hejazi said.

But people were still on the streets Wednesday morning in North Beach. Caffe Greco is still not ready to open its indoor dining room. Employees say the owner will likely wait until the next level of reopening before letting people in.

RELATED: Excitement grows as SF museums, gyms are allowed to open indoors

A group of loyal customers who have coffee at Caffe Greco every morning agreed to sit outside.

“I prefer to eat outside. I feel like there’s better ventilation than inside,” John Lanni said.

His friend, Dennis Sullivan, said he hoped the makeshift outdoor dining areas created by restaurants would become permanent.

“I think the city has been transformed by the parklets. I think it’s added to a variety of opportunities. I hope that continues. Being indoors is of course wonderful, but being outdoors is just as wonderful,” Sullivan said.

Hejazi agrees they have a certain charm. And they were expensive. Hejazi spent $22,000 on the Roxanne Café parklet. He said he would be willing to consider keeping it, but says it will be at City Hall as they have metered parking spaces.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit it via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos on the novel coronavirus pandemic here


Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.