Thursday marked the return of outdoor dining in San Francisco, which was restricted for nearly two months due to a COVID-19 stay-at-home order. But unfortunately, the timing for day one turned out to be less than ideal due to rainy weather.
The Morning Due Cafe has been a mainstay for more than 20 years at the corner of 17th and Church, but the owner said the coronavirus has taken a toll.
“It really hurts. It’s changed our lives so much,” said owner Joel Haded. “We didn’t know what to do.”
And on a day when the city officially reopens for outdoor dining, the rainy weather isn’t exactly helping.
“It’s good that we opened up today but look at it, the weather it’s been raining so it’s not helping very much,” said Haddad.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed talked about the need to support small businesses during her state of the city address.
“Today San Francisco can begin to recover, reopen businesses, begin to resume our lives,” she said. “We will continue to enliven our neighborhood with outdoor dining on sidewalks and in our streets and public places.”
But the president of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association says it could take some time before outdoor dining gains its footing.
“It takes five to 10 days to reopen a restaurant, you have to reorder all that food, chefs have to do all that prep,” said Laurie Thomas.
Hadad says revenue is down more than 60% this past year. He hopes outdoor dining, along with a second round of PPE loans, will stop some of the bleeding.
“Now we’ve spent all that money and we went back to opening up, and it’s not helping at all,” he said.
The 10 p.m. curfew will still remain in place for outdoor dining, until the state reassigns the city into the red tier.
The restaurant industry isn’t the only one waiting for a break in the weather to reopen. The mass vaccination site at City College of San Francisco is resuming service Friday. The site was closed for two days until the storms passed, with 250 shots rescheduled for a later date.