South Bay restaurants rejoice as dine-in service returns

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. — San Diego County restaurants now are able to open for dine-in service so long as they follow new health and safety guidelines.

Some in Chula Vista say it’s a big step forward in the state’s plan for reopening.

The kitchen looks a little different at Nova Brazil Brewing Co. Employees now are required to wear face coverings if they want to reopen for dine-in service.

“Wow. It’s amazing, it’s amazing,” said Hugo Thomaz, who works at the restaurant. “Look at this. We were talking last week about how great it would be to have people in and here they are.”

Thomaz said he’s still processing the fact that customers are actually inside, sitting at restaurant tables and eating. It’s a simple concept that’s become almost unfamiliar.

“I went to bed last night thinking that today would be another day that we would only be able to do takeout delivery and I woke up with the state approval,” he said.

Gonzalo Quintero, co-owner and operator at Tavern at the Vogue, said he couldn’t believe his eyes when we read restaurants can reopen for dine-in.

Another place open and extremely busy was Karina’s Mexican Seafood on Bonita Road.

“It feels amazing after being in quarantine for so long,” said Laura Aleman, a food runner and hostess at the restaurant. “We’re finally back here together.”

Aleman said they’re taking all the safety precautions by wearing face coverings, taking customer temperatures, and setting up tables 6 feet apart.

“We do also have a limited amount of people in the restaurant just to be a little safer,” she said.

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