Friday was a big night for restaurants in Alameda County as they were finally allowed to serve customers outside.
The health department is easing COVID-19 restrictions, even as the number of cases appears to be on the rise.
In Pleasanton, the street was blocked off to cars but packed with people eating outside. The Kennison family of Fremont had a lot to celebrate Friday night – not only did they have a birthday, but it was the first time the family had eaten at a restaurant together in three months.
“We were super excited when we found out that Pleasanton was reopening and they actually closed off the street,” said Gosia Kennison. “I’ve been looking forward to it all day.”
Pairings Wine Bar Restaurant owner John Campanella was also excited to reopen.
“It’s a big night,” he said. “Yeah, it’s great. We’re very happy that the city did this because it allows us to bring more seating in here. Our phone is ringing off the hook. People are having fun.”
Like most restaurants in Pleasanton, Pairings Wine Bar and Restaurant has been serving takeout to stay afloat since coronavirus restrictions went into place. Campanella wasn’t sure if his restaurant would survive.
“We have a restaurant group and every week everyone was, ‘When are we going to open?’ You can’t survive on just takeout. Not when your rent is crazy high,” Campanella said.
Now, servers wear masks, the tables are set apart, hand sanitizer is everywhere and linens are changed after every seating. They’re changes the Kennisons believe are here to stay.
“It’s a virus,” Goshia Kennison said. “It’s not going anywhere. We have to go back to work and bring our economy back up and just move on, move forward really.”
Main Street in Pleasanton will be closed to traffic starting Fridays at 4 p.m. through Sundays at 8 p.m. through the end of the summer.