‘This is the Happiest I've Been in Months' Napa County Welcomes Back Diners

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Napa County formally welcomed diners back inside Wednesday and customers couldn’t be happier.

It’s the first county in the Bay Area to meet criteria to begin the so-called Expanded Phase 2 Reopening. 

It was almost like seeing a mirage, people sitting outside and inside Bay Area restaurants, eating a fresh meal or enjoying a glass of wine. This part of Phase 2 is proving to be delicious. 

“This is it. I mean, look at the smile on my face. This is it!” said Sharon Burnim of El Sobrante.

The day was about celebrating what used to be the little things and recognizing them as the things that make us really happy. 

Napa County formally welcomed diners back inside Wednesday and customers couldn’t be happier. Jackie Ward reports.

“The first thing I told him was, ‘oh our pizza is super warm,” said Gabby from Pleasanton. “We actually get to eat it fresh, not take it home and then eat it once it’s kinda warm, cold.”

For the first time since the shelter-in-place started, people could go to a restaurant in downtown Napa and actually sit and stay there. 

Hand sanitizers and masks are the in-season accoutrements being featured - and required - at every restaurant that wants to allow people to dine in. 

“A little weird. We wore our mask and then you see the glass they have at the bar and we sanitized. But once we got out here, it’s comfortable,” said Gabby.

Joe Peatman, the owner of Downtown Joe’s, said he needs to prove to some employees and customers that it is safe to come back. 

“For now, every day is going to be a challenge to figure out how we can improve on where we’re at and get to where we want to be,” Peatman said. 

But these chefs in Napa are resilient, and fires, floods, even a pandemic won’t stop them. Chef Mauro Pando of Grace’s Table said, “I haven’t been happier. This is the happiest I’ve been in two months.” 

Despite several health precautions in place, some customers still preferred to eat outside today. The city of Napa recognizes that not all dining establishments have outdoor seating as an option, so it’s looking into temporarily allowing parking lots and sidewalks to become outdoor dining spots.

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