SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – This marks the first weekend that San Francisco has been back on the yellow line in six months.
Judging by the heavy stake in bars and restaurants in San Francisco on Saturday night, business owners and customers are thriving again under the least restrictive yellow tier.
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At Novela on Mission Street near Third Street, the handcrafted cocktails are flowing, the tables are full and people are ready to drink.
Managing partner Hilwin Wong says it will be the busiest weekend yet for Novela since the pandemic.
“It’s lively, it looks hopeful, people are coming out,” she said. “We see an increase in sales from week to week, we are booked out before the end of the day, before the end of the night, the day before.”
According to the new rules, tables can now seat up to 8 people. In restaurants or bars where food is served, the indoor capacity stays at 50%.
Bars that do not serve food can now operate indoors at 25% capacity.
Novela says they have around 35% capacity given the 6 foot social distancing mandate. The room looks more like a lounge with reserved seats.
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“It was really nice to see that our local community had so much support from day one in making the move to to-go ordering and having to fully adjust to a new way of doing business,” said Lena Martinson, Marketing Manager at Novela.
Currently, 54% of Franciscans over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated and nearly 75% have received at least one dose.
“Last weekend was probably our busiest weekend since 2019,” said Jeff Davis, director of operations at The Dorian. “This weekend is pretty much the same, so it’s going back to 2019 numbers, that’s nice, but we’re playing it cautiously optimistic again.”
The Dorian at Cow Hollow was full of activity on Saturday night. It adds Mother’s Day specials to the menu and gradually hires staff as it can close at 2am
According to Dorian, guests are already booking larger private banquet-style events in the coming weeks and months.
“It opened our eyes to 2020 and we’re going to come out stronger again, and these are exciting times and we’re ready to get back to work,” said Davis.
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The yellow tier is the final stage of the reopening plan. Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the state will be fully reopened on June 15.