Bay Area Restaurants Change New Year's Eve Plans Amid Surge in COVID Cases

NBC Universal, Inc.

With New Year’s Eve approaching, some bars and restaurants aren’t taking their chances and went ahead and refunded guests their money, while others are forging ahead with Friday’s celebration.

But, Torsap Thai Kitchen in Walnut Creek has their champagne glasses ready. The owner told NBC Bay Area that she’s hoping her team can pull off Friday’s big party without more guests dropping out at the final second.

Owner Wendy Sanchez doesn’t want to just host a party. The owner of Torsap Thai Kitchen wants to host a celebration, after a year of takeout orders and limited outdoor dining. For her staff, it’s not the countdown that matters, it’s the cash tips.

“Of course, they expect tips because it’s a big night for them,” she said.

Sanchez said all guests will be asked to show their vaccine card at the door. That hasn’t stopped 10 people from already cancelling their tickets over fears of the Omicron variant.

Sanchez isn’t the only restauranteur who is hoping she can pull of a COVID-free New Year’s Eve party.

Pete Sittnick, manager of the Water Bar and Epic Steak in San Francisco, two restaurants that are forging ahead with parties Friday night.

“Its fluid right now for New Year’s Eve. There is definitely some concern with the omnicron variant,” he said.

There is also the venues that are refunding thousands of dollars back and cancelling parties because of the surge.

This includes the Moxy Hotel in Oakland, where musician John Palowitch was excited to perform for a live crowd with his jazz band.

“That is certainly disappointing. We don’t get to do the work. We don’t get to play music for the fans that were going to come through,” he said.

Contact Us