Contra Costa and Sonoma counties joined the rest of the Bay Area in moving to the red tier Sunday.
At Main Street Kitchen and Bar in Walnut Creek, it’s a new day. They had seating outside but can now offer it indoors at limited capacity.
“People are back inside, which is a great feeling only 25%,” said Arash Ghaseni, owner of Main Street Kitchen and Bar. “But we take it however it comes. It really feels like the restaurant is back alive, it’s great,” he said.
It's a sigh of relief as business owners watched other Bay Area counties move into the red tier weeks ago.
“It gives us more chance to start paying our bills,” Ghaseni added. “It’s so hard when it rains to bring people inside is a good thing for us.”
Some Bay Area customers called ahead as soon as they heard the news.
“It feels like it’s the first step in the right direction, getting back to normal and it feels great. I’m excited,” said Danville resident Taylor Wyrsch.
Many Bay Area restaurants’ tables and chairs are set up for social distancing, all the protocols in place.
Those changes are also happening in Sonoma County. Sonoma County had previously been in the most restrictive purple tier since August. Before Sunday, it was the only Bay Area county that had never advanced past it.
“We plan to move slowly. We are opening indoor Wednesday to get ready, buy sanitizer, set up social distance, set up everything,” said Nima Sherpa, owner of Sonoma Grille and Bar.
The move to the red tier was made possible because the state met a vaccination goal in communities hit hard by COVID-19. Even still, people today mentioned staying cautious.