Chula Vista considers closing Third Avenue to expand weekend outdoor dining


CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Chula Vista leaders are expected to provide more details Thursday on some of the recent relief efforts for small businesses, including a potential plan to close down Third Avenue on weekends to allow for more outdoor dining.

Restaurants, bars, breweries all along Third Avenue are already taking advantage of being able to still serve people outside, but businesses say the proposal could only help what has been a very difficult few months.

“It’s been a roller coaster of hoops on fire that we had to jump through just to remain open,” said Steve Garcia, owner of 3 Punk Ales Brewery.

The food and beverage industry has been closed, opened, closed and reopened more than once with modifications.

“We are on our fourth or fifth set of guidelines where we had to post them on the door and protocols that have changed,” said Anthony Raso, owner at Bar Sin Nombre.

From takeout only to dine-in and now dining outside only, restaurants, bars and breweries across San Diego County are doing everything they can to survive.

While it has been a big challenge, Garcia says it has also provided opportunities to expand and grow. His brewery 3 Punk Ales started canning their beers and delivering, which was something they’d never done before.

One of the recent restrictions hurting Bar Sin Nombre just a couple doors down is the 10 p.m. cut off time.

“That’s the real back-breaker that’s the one that’s hurt us more than anything,” said Raso, whose bar is typically open until 2 a.m.

Both establishments agree the idea to close Third Avenue to car traffic on the weekends and allow for more people to come through the area safely would be great for the community during this time.

“Third Avenue is built for that,” said Garcia.

The city has authorized the closure of a portion of Thid Avenue, but has yet to announce an official plan or schedule. The mayor is expected to address local businesses Thursday morning.

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