After months of serving takeout or serving customers outdoors, restaurants in San Francisco were allowed Wednesday to invite diners back inside.
Far East Cafe in Chinatown nearly closed permanently last year, but after receiving support from the city as well as community members, it was able to hang on. Now, with the addition of indoor restaurants at limited capacity and with safety protocols to slow the transmission of COVID-19, owner Bill Lee hopes business will pick up.
“We will do more business and we can continue to increase service to the Chinatown community,” Lee said.
After months of serving takeout or serving customers outdoors, restaurants in San Francisco were allowed Wednesday to invite diners back inside. reports Pete Suratos.
According to city guidelines, dining tables will be limited to one household or a maximum of four people per table. Domestic service must end at 10 p.m.
At the Waterbar along the Embarcadero, some groups arrived early to dine indoors, learning for the first time about the extensive safety protocols to keep workers and customers safe.
“It’s very important,” said Vivian Brown. “It just makes us feel like we’re opening up, we’ve got a little more freedom, something to do.”
While Wednesday was a step in the right direction, Pete Sittnick, the Waterbar’s managing partner, said they still have a long way to go before they get back to normal.
“Operating with 25% indoors is better than nothing, but it’s still not able to keep us at a profitable level,” he said. “We really need to get to 50, maybe 75 per cent.”