San Diego Restaurant Owners Welcome Less-Restrictive Orange Tier – NBC 7 San Diego
Now that San Diego County has hit the orange tier, capacity constraints and restrictions on restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries are being eased – and this is welcome news for those who own these establishments.
As of Wednesday, restaurants with a capacity of 50% or 200 people, whichever is less, can operate indoors, while table distancing and wearing of masks must continue under the less restrictive orange step.
Some customers visiting wineries and breweries are allowed to drink indoors. These companies must limit the capacity to 25% or less than 100 people indoors.
For more than a year, bars with no food were closed. Now they can reopen and serve people outdoors if proper COVID-19 precautions are taken.
Jean Paul Rojo, the owner of Tacos El Cabrón, told NBC 7 that keeping his restaurant in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter afloat has been a team effort for more than a year.
“It was very, very tough. The people around us were great. They all supported us,” he said.
Rojo said reinventing its business model also helped keep its doors open.
“We try to be very creative on our social media channels using delivery trays like UberEats and Postmates,” he said.
Rojo told NBC 7 that he worked 12-14 hours a day and had to cut roughly 90% of his workforce because his company was making less than half of what it was doing before the pandemic.
Two big steps forward in returning to pre-COVID-19 life: In just a few hours, San Diego County is officially transitioning to the orange tier; we also know when California can be fully reopened. Plus: Big update on injury to Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. NBC 7’s Monica Dean has nightly check-in for Tuesday, March 6th.
“50%. It makes a huge difference and not just for the number of people we can have in the business, but also for the people who are getting out now. Because even with the 25%, a lot of people didn’t get out,” he said .
Marcos Luciano, the owner of Dobson’s, a bar and restaurant that has been serving in downtown San Diegans for over 35 years, told NBC 7 that he had been waiting a long time for this moment.
“… When people come out of bars, they look for something to eat. And we have to be closed, ”he said.
The increase in capacity limits is a welcome relief for Luciano’s business.
“25% were kidding… It’s a big help. It’s not 100%, but 50% is definitely a lot better than 25%, ”he said.
It may not be long before businesses can return to normal capacity. Governor Newsom announced on Tuesday that the state would lift the tiered system and open it on Jan.