San francisco restaurants

San Francisco restaurants prepare for more restrictions

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — City of San Francisco officials are hinting at more possible rollback announcements in the coming days as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.

Although outdoor dining is still permitted under the state’s current purple level guidelines, many restaurants are preparing for the possibility of suspending outdoor dining.

There’s no official word on any changes to outdoor dining, but city officials say they can’t rule out the possibility.

For many of these restaurants, they say outdoor dining is what keeps the lights on, keeps people employed, and keeps doors open.

Not having it could be the nail in the coffin for many other restaurants in town.

“Without outdoor dining, the game is over for a lot of people,” said Laurie Thomas.

The harsh reality for many San Francisco restaurants if the state or city decides to move forward with more rollbacks that would put a pause on outdoor dining.

Laurie Thomas is the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which represents San Francisco’s larger restaurant community.

While Thomas says there hasn’t been a shift to outdoor dining in the city yet, she and many other restaurateurs are preparing for that possibility.

“Again, personally, we haven’t ordered any wine this week, have we? An order of several thousand dollars is enough to withdraw it directly. Won’t you do it right? Really ration all food purchases, all other miscellaneous purchases. I called the cleaning company and said if that happened we would cancel the contract, put the contract on hold soon after. I mean these are ripple effects that will immediately ripple through the economy like it happened in March,” Thomas said.

If outdoor dining is suspended, she says it will also impact the people who live and work in this city.

“One of the concerns is how do we get people to continue to eat and live? And I’m not exaggerating that,” Thomas said.

Wayfare Tavern partner Tony Marcell is also concerned about something.

He says the restaurant employed almost 100 people before the pandemic, but their staff has since shrunk by almost 70% to just over 30 people.

With the possibility of suspending outdoor dining, he says many businesses will have to make tough decisions.

“I would suspect that some owners and operators might just consider closing and see what it looks like to get through the next wave of this tougher period which is likely to last 6-8 weeks,” Marcell said.

A decision that long-time popular restaurants like Tadich Grill have already made.

The restaurant planned to reopen Nov. 9, when San Francisco was expected to drop to 50% capacity for indoor dining.

When those plans changed, Tadich Grill decided to go into hibernation for the time being.

The news of possible rollbacks comes just a day after San Francisco’s curfew went into effect – which begins each night at 10 p.m. and lasts until 5 a.m.