After the restaurants in San Francisco had eaten outdoors or served customers for months, they were allowed to invite their guests back into the house on Wednesday.
The Far East Cafe in Chinatown closed almost permanently last year, but has held out after receiving support from both the city and community members. With the addition of limited capacity indoor dining and security protocols to slow down the transmission of COVID-19, owner Bill Lee is now hoping business will pick up
“We will do more business and continue to improve service to the Chinatown community,” said Lee.
According to city guidelines, dining tables are limited to one household or a maximum of four people per table. The indoor service must be finished by 10 p.m.
Over at the waterbar along the Embarcadero, some groups arrived early to eat indoors and were given a first look at the extensive security protocols to protect both workers and customers.
“It’s very important,” said Vivian Brown. “It just makes us feel like we’re opening up, we have a little more freedom to do something.”
While Wednesday was a step in the right direction, Pete Sittnick, the managing partner of Waterbar, said they still have a long way to go before they get back to normal.
“Working indoors at 25% is better than nothing, but it’s still not able to keep us at profitable levels,” he said. “We really have to get 50, maybe 75%.”