San Diego restaurants resume outdoor dining 7 weeks after shutdown

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SAN DIEGO — Restaurant owners were busy Monday preparing to resume outdoor service after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state-mandated stay-at-home order was lifted.

While some restaurants defied the order that prohibited onsite dining, those who complied can now legally reopen their outdoor seating areas.

“It came as a surprise,” restaurant owner Diana Patrick said. “Everything, it seems, has been such a jumping jacks game. And they’re like, ‘Jump!’ and here we are open again.”

Patrick owns San Diego Pier Cafe and Edgewater in Seaport Village. She closed both restaurants when the stay-at-home order went into effect Dec. 6.

“It’s been really tough. Tough on the employees, tough for all of the organization that we need to do, tough on the bottom line,” Patrick said.

County leaders said restaurants, museums, theaters and other businesses can resume outdoor operations immediately under state guidance. Patrick is looking forward to reopening on Friday, which gives her a few days to make sure reopening is smooth and beneficial.

After renovations at both of her restaurants while they were closed, she said when they do open, they’ll be better than ever.

“A total renovation on the Edgewater,” she said. “We have that to look forward to, and a partial renovation here at the Pier.”

Other restaurants, including Mr. Moto Pizza, pivoted to takeout only during the shutdown. General Manager Juan Cervantes said it was difficult.

“It’s been hard for everyone. I know it’s hard for a lot of businesses, just keeping up with what’s going on,” he said.

The retail shops at Seaport Village stayed open but suffered from a dip in foot traffic because of restaurant closures.

“We want to be here to support our fellow business owners here in Seaport Village,” Patrick said. “They’re open, they’re great. I do everything I can to support them and Seaport Village has been so supportive of us.”

County leaders said Monday that the following business can reopen in an outdoor capacity: restaurant dining, gyms, places of worship, museums, zoos and aquariums, camping and outdoor recreation, bars, breweries and distilleries if they serve food, low contact youth sports such as cross country, swimming and diving, golf and track and field, family entertainment centers and movie theaters. Personal care services such as barbershops, hair and nail salons and tattoo shops can operate indoors.

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