San Francisco

Experts Say Half of SF's Restaurants Won't Survive Pandemic

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A glimmer of hope for San Francisco's famed dine-in restaurants has been dashed since officials said restaurants will not be listed on Phase 2 of reopening. 

Experts now suggest half of the city’s restaurants will not survive long enough to reopen.

“We're not going to go immediately to seated dining at restaurants,” said Director of California Department of Public Health, Dr. Sonia Angell.

The Golden Gate Association said over the weekend that San Francisco could lose half of its restaurants permanently because of the pandemic. 

In a statement, Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association said the governor’s guidelines for Phase 2 don’t apply to the Bay Area. 

“Now through the end of May, do not include the loosening of any restaurant-specific restrictions,” Thomas said.

San Francisco’s mayor wasn’t any more optimistic in her daily briefing.

“Can we say ‘definitely?’” said Mayor Breed. “No we can’t.”

Along every street in San Francisco, for every “for lease” sign, there are many more signs of hope. Owners are getting creative, offering products they wouldn’t have considered in the past just to survive. 

“How can we be there for other people? How can it be a part of their daily eating adventure?” said Julie Fulton, Bouche restaurant owner. “And that was to offer some sauce.”

Fulton owns Bouche in the Financial District. Instead of throwing out produce, she used it to create a line of sauces and defying her own fine-dining mantra. 

It is now offering an S.O.S. burger for takeout beginning this weekend. 

“I came from France 15 years ago, as a woman immigrant, I’m not going to stop now,” she said. For her, that means making sauce out of an otherwise sour situation.

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