San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday announced the city will allow restaurants to seat and serve customers outside beginning Friday.
Servers will have to wear masks, and tables must be placed 6 feet apart.
The city is home to more than 4,000 restaurants, but only a fraction will initially benefit from the easing of restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Like many other restaurants in city, Portofino Seafood Co. has no outdoor seating. Owner Frankie Balistreri said he has applied for a permit to allow some tables to be placed outside.
“Put tables against my business windows and make sure everything's separated, but it won't be much,” he said. “I'm a small place.”
Restaurant owners who already have outdoor seating were thrilled by Tuesday's announcement.
“I think it’s great,” Caffe Trieste owner Ida Zoubi said. “We really need some seating. People are anxious to come out and be able to come enjoy themselves and have a sense of feeling a little bit of a norm again.”
Some diners in the North Beach neighborhood have already made plans in advance.
“Sitting outside and going to Piccolo Forno and having a pizza," Russell Ferrell of San Francisco said. "Bring your own wine, and just sit outside.”