SAN DIEGO – It seems bars, breweries and wineries were just celebrating being able to make their comeback in San Diego and now, not even three weeks later, those businesses are being ordered to shut their doors once again.
The lights are set to dim once again at The Lamplighter in Mission Hills, where it felt like things were just finally getting going again after a three-month shut down.
“We open for two weeks and then we have to close again. It’s a little ridiculous. No one is happy about it,” said J.J. Sciuto, bar manager.
San Diego County officials announced Monday a mandate for bars, breweries and wineries, saying they must close by July 1 if they don’t serve food. It is a requirement Sciuto doesn’t fully agree with or understand.
“A lot of places are bar/restaurant. We are just a bar so we have to shut down, while down the street there’s a restaurant about the same size as us, but they’re a restaurant so they can stay open,” Sciuto said.
Sciuto said that in the two weeks The Lamplighter was able to welcome guests back, things were going very well.
“We still kept it at not max capacity, we kept everyone six feet apart and for those we couldn’t keep six feet apart, we put barriers at the bar,” Sciuto said.
Staying closed was costly and now many of the new orders of beer kegs and liquor bottles must be canceled. Staff and services told to return must once again be turned away.
“The guys who give us towels and soap, just every little thing that we put into this. We had to hire all of that back and now we have to put it on lock again,” Sciuto said.
While it’s a frustrating time, the bar is committed to serving its patrons until the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday.
“We are staying open until we have to close, just telling all of our friends, regulars and all of our customers to come in because this is the last ‘hoo-rah’ right now until we have to shut down again,” Sciuto said.
Any other reopenings in the local San Diego economy will be held off until August 1, when county officials say they will reassess.