San Diego restaurants move fast to reopen

Posted at 4:51 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 20:12:27-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Restaurants across San Diego County on Tuesday set their tables for the first time in nearly two months, now that the governor's stay-at-home order has lifted.

North Park’s Working Class restaurant is celebrating its three year anniversary by simply having guests again.

“I thought this was literally going to last ‘til March or April, and then they throw it at us the end of January,” said Jeff Kiyama, a partner at the restaurant.

Kiyama spent the last 24 hours making sure things like televisions and plumbing still worked.

"We're shutting off DirecTV, limiting our trash pick up, and really watching the staff and making sure we're able to pump out the food but not be overly staffed,” he said.

Over in Hillcrest, Marco Provino prepared Rusticucina to reopen its outdoor patio.

The restaurant launched in February 2020, about six weeks before the pandemic hit. He said they would take it day-by-day.

“We are going to see how the business is going. Me and my partner are going to be here. If we need to we will bring family to help us,” said Provino,

Still, despite the governor's surprise announcement, restaurant managers said they were glad to be taking the step in this direction.

“We feel like it's a flame that turned back on inside of us,” said Leonardo Bauer, general manager of Novo Brazil Brewing Co. "We were so down in business, in numbers and happiness.”

There are also plenty of workers available. The latest numbers show that county bars and restaurants cut nearly nine thousand jobs once the stay at home order went into effect, limiting restaurants to takeout only.