“I understand it because we do have to conserve. It doesn’t bother me," said Gary Brinton, a customer.
Owner Nico Becucci said his water policy is meant to get customers to think about conservation as the state grapples with a historic drought and new water restrictions.
“It's letting people realize we’re really in a bad situation here in California. It’s not helping me at all – 50 cents is not even paying for my water bill," said Becucci.
Becucci said his policy is getting mostly favorable reviews, but not everyone likes the idea of paying for something that's still free in most places.
“I still don’t think you should be charged for water at a restaurant. I think they can restrict, not necessarily bring it to the table – but if you ask, you should be provided water at no charge," said Shannon Habib, a customer.
According to Becucci, because of the charge, customers are wasting less.
“They actually drink the water – they’re not just ordering the water and leaving it on the table. As soon as they realize they’re charged for it, they’re like, ‘I might as well drink it,'” said Becucci.