SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After experiencing a drop in business due to the omicron surge, restaurants in San Francisco are starting to rebound. Spring weather, the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day drew large diners this past weekend.
Restaurants in San Francisco are seeing growth in diners and hope they will enter a period of stability. Flour + Water in the Mission District reopened for the first time on Sunday after being closed for renovations for four months.
READ MORE: Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Dies Unexpectedly Following Medical Emergency
The popular restaurant known for its fresh pasta said the wait time for a party of two without a reservation was at least an hour and a half.
“You never know, especially over the past two years, you never know how these things are going to turn out,” said Flour + Water co-chef and owner Thomoas McNaughton. “And for me, it’s so great to see familiar faces, friends, family, people back in the dining room.”
The kitchen was constantly buzzing with activity on a Sunday evening, as was the dining room at the Penny Roma on nearby 20th Street.
McNaughton and co-chef Ryan Pollnow opened the restaurant in October. They closed it for 10 days during the Omicron surge for the safety of staff and diners.
“It was right on one of the busiest nights of the year – New Year’s Eve,” McNaughton said. “And we said forget it – in three weeks we’re going to have New Year’s Eve 2022 again and put a ton of balloons around the restaurant. We had the silly hats and people loved it. So many people came and celebrated.
READ MORE: UPDATE: State Health Officials Reluctant to Lift School Mask Mandates; Will reassess in 2 weeks
There was a lot to celebrate Sunday night, including Valentine’s Day.
“It seemed very busy. We were among the first to come in here at Penny Roma and had a fantastic dinner,” said Jesse Landers of Pacifica.
“When we got here, they checked our IDs and vaccination cards right at the door, so I knew everyone here was vaccinated,” said Marli Oxenholm of Pacifica. “So it made me feel super safe, even though it was hectic and super packed. But it was good. It was kind of like going back to the good old days.”
McNaughton said the reopening of Flour + Water was almost like the “old days” too. Among her guests was Daria Saraf, who dined indoors for the first time in about two years.
“It was great. We sat by the window at the communal table because we thought there was good air circulation,” she said. “It was absolutely delicious.”
NO MORE NEWS: US official: Russian units near Ukraine moved to ‘attack positions’
The city’s indoor mask mandate will be dropped for those vaccinated this Wednesday, February 16.