California Avenue in Palo Alto has been closed to cars to allow restaurants to add or expand outdoor dining amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Setting up tables outside, measuring the distance between those tables and disinfecting them has been keeping restaurant workers busy, but Franco Campilongo from Terún pizzeria doesn’t mind the work. He said the extra space for customers could help keep his business open after all.
“Now, with this today, it’s a relief,” he said. “It’s like we’re kind of breathing again.”
Some people who live nearby are concerned about parking and fear the closure will cause confusion for drivers.
Resident Steve Von der Haar said the change is good.
“I absolutely love it,” he said. “I actually believe it should have been done 5, 10 years ago. I don’t know why we waited for this to make it happen. I hope it’s permanent.”
Campilongo hopes the change will save small shops and restaurants.
Though many tables remained empty during the lunch hour Thursday and foot traffic was light, business owners are hopeful word will get out and customers will return.