San Diego County bars will look a lot like restaurants as they reopen under restrictions

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 22:48:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - While bars are set to open Friday, it's not going to look much different from restaurants right now, according to those in the industry.

10News spoke with Nathan Colonero, the Director of Operations at Sandbox Pizza and The Tipsy Crow, and he said the only change will be businesses without a food license will be able to reopen and bars that serve food don't have to enforce a food order on each tab.

Customers will be required to wear masks when they walk in and may only remove their mask once seated.

Tables must be spaced at least six feet apart or partitioned.

Colonero is hopeful the easing restrictions will continue, "who knows? Maybe three more weeks and no spike and we get a little more back to, the biggest thing for us is to get back to, if people are allowed to be in the venue, maybe at a lower capacity, just not seated."

Many San Diego bars with food licenses have been open for the past three weeks and some are feeling the squeeze of the new restrictions.

"The $600 unemployment is killing businesses right now to get staff back," Colonero said. He said they're dealing with high minimum wage, former employees who left the area to live with their family during quarantine and those who are afraid to return to work for health reasons.

He said another problem with hiring back employees is they have new cleaning duties under the county order, "everyone's kind of been forced to do jobs they don't like or want to do."

Colonero said servers and bartenders coming back are also seeing less in tips, because of the limited capacity, and businesses are seeing hardly if any profit for the same reason.

"Unfortunately there's going to be a lot of restaurants and bars that aren't going to be reopening," Colonero said.

He asks San Diegans who go out this weekend to bars and restaurants to be patient with workers who are juggling so many changes.

Bars join nearly a dozen other businesses allowed to reopen Friday:

  • Gyms
  • Hotels
  • Bars/wineries
  • Zoos and indoor museums
  • Family entertainment facilities (bowling alleys, batting cages, etc.)
  • Day camps
  • Campgrounds
  • Pro sports without fans
  • Film and TV production
  • Card rooms