Father’s Day is just the holiday that restaurants in the Bay Area say they needed to boost business after the coronavirus shutdown.
It’s been three weeks since restaurants in some areas have been allowed to reopen to outdoor seating, but Sunday was the busiest day for businesses in months.
Along Main Street in downtown Walnut Creek restaurants were ready to welcome fathers and their families with small streets closed and parking spaces transformed to accommodate socially distanced outdoor seating.
Popular barbecue chain Sauced was ready for 400 reserved guests, pickup, delivery and even walk-ins. But Father’s Day wasn’t just for the locals to get out.
New York Native Larry Wiener flew in to celebrate the holiday at Main Street Kitchen and Bar with his two sons and to surprise his granddaughter on her birthday.
This is a good sign for local businesses, but Arash Ghasemi, owner of the restaurant, said it’s still an uphill climb to get back to normal. The biggest hurdle is getting staff back to 100% when most of them have chosen to stay on unemployment benefits, he said.
“We don’t have the full staff back so it’s been hard to take reservations and do the other normal things that we used to do,” said Ghasemi. “The guests have been understanding but we take what we can get, if we have seating available.”