Bay Area restaurants are still not allowed to serve customers at tables, but when that changes, San Mateo is considering shutting down some streets to give restaurants more seating options.
The Peninsula city is looking into closing down parts of at least two streets so that restaurants can serve customers inside and outside.
At Curry Up Now, current social distancing requirements would drastically limit how many customers the small restaurant could serve if they were to reopen, which is why employees welcome the chance to add tables outside.
Brad Goldberg, owner of Vault 164, would welcome the extra space, too.
“I’m all for it,” he said. “The more seating that we can get the better, especially given the constraints that we're likely to be under within the restaurant. So, the more space we can open outside the better.”
Keeping tables six feet apart, Vault 164 would only be able to use 11 inside.
San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals said the city council has asked staff to come up with the specifics on a plan to close sections of B Street and 25th Avenue.
“Retail is hurting, restaurants are hurting,” Goethals said. “If we want to have a San Mateo to open back up to when this is over, we need to do everything we can during this time to keep them open and to give them customers.”
Goethals said he hopes shutting down streets will not only help small restaurants survive but will encourage more people to come to downtown San Mateo to shop because they’ll have plenty of room to spread out.