San francisco restaurants

Shared Spaces program gives hope to restaurants in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Under a new proposal announced Tuesday by the Mayor of London Breed, businesses in San Francisco will soon be able to use sidewalks, partial streets, parks and plazas to do business.

It’s called the Shared Spaces Program, and city leaders say once restaurant dining is allowed under the health order, it will open up the possibility of outdoor seating. air.

Restaurant owners in North Beach and the city’s Fillmore neighborhood say it’s a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a good start,” said Francesco Covucci. He owns three Italian restaurants in North Beach. Normally, Covucci takes care of the customers of Il Casaro, Barbara Pinseria and Pasta Pop Up. But these days, business is much slower.

“It’s probably the worst time we could imagine,” Covucci said. “Having the restaurants, paying the rent and our employees without business? This is definitely the worst time.

Covucci says delivery and releases over the past two months have only brought in 30 or 40 percent of what their normal operations would take, but hearing about San Francisco’s shared spaces program, gives him a bit of a boost. hope.

“I think it’s a good start, it’s great for restaurants to be able to use the parking spaces or go offsite, because we’re going to lose seats due to the limited capacity inside,” said Covucci.

The program will allow businesses to use sidewalks, partial streets, parks and plazas to conduct their business.

According to the mayor’s announcement – given that social distancing requirements will likely continue to apply until there is a vaccine for the virus, the shared spaces program will support businesses by expanding their ability to operate in outdoor public spaces, providing additional space for the required distance between employees and customers.

On Fillmore Street, Mediterranean restaurant Noosh has already opened a take-out window, giving them access to street-side sales.

“We’re really excited about the shared space program,” said Noosh CEO John Litz. “We are fortunate to have windows on the street side, so they open directly onto Fillmore. We will have a deli counter right out front…and we already have self-serve kiosks, so everything is chargeable and contactless. »

Litz says every business owner is thinking about surviving in this new normal right now, and he thinks the shared space program makes sense.

“We look forward to generating revenue again, as I’m sure all restaurants are,” Litz said. “We will get through this. It’s definitely a challenge, but you have to be nimble and you have to move and change with what the new world is like. And the new world looks like fewer people inside restaurants.

One thing both landlords mentioned was the need for help with rent protection, some landlords may have been lenient while others may not.

The program will allow individual businesses or local business associations to apply for an expedited, no-cost permit to share the sidewalk or parking lane for commercial purposes.

Final details of the shared space initiative and permitting process will be completed by mid-June.

Latest stories: