Restaurants reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend under new guidelines

Posted at 10:29 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 10:26:20-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — Pacific Beach restaurants are open for dine-in service for the first time since the pandemic started.

"People look happy, people are just happy they don't have to cook for themselves right now, they have some place to go where someone can cook for them," Mavericks Event Manager Krista Marcheschi said.

Mavericks is a popular destination for drinks and dancing weekend nights, but since the pandemic Marcheschi said they are adhering to the strict guidelines set by the county.

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Marcheschi said they closed on March 15th and reopened last week for take out. She said that made for a much smoother transition to the modified full reopening.

"We just made sure to call everyone that was employed here pre-pandemic and said hey come back here if you want to we would love to have you," Marcheschi said not everyone took the opportunity to come back.

She said they are at about half of the staff and are looking to hire more people with restaurant experience.

RELATED: What to know: Changes at San Diego restaurants, retail this Memorial Day weekend

Mavericks has adapted to the 'new norm'. They have a no-touch menu option, using a QR Code, or one use menu. There are signs on tables showing when it has been sanitized. Stickers on the floor mark socially distant waiting spots for the restroom and hand sanitizer is everywhere.

Outside Mavericks turned their parking lot into another seating area, that looks more like a park, with grass and picnic benches.

In front of the restaurant large orange cones dictate where parties wait for a table, spaced 10 feet apart, Marcheschi said.

RELATED: Pacific Beach's El Prez shut down for violating health orders

"If you're doing anything but sitting at your table taking a bite of your food or a sip of your drink you have to have a mask on," she said they're doing their best to stick to the guidelines.

Just a few blocks away El Prez remains closed after officials shut it down Friday because guests were not following guidelines.

The restaurant owner's sister sent 10News a message reading in part, "My brother (who owns El Prez) has been meeting with local officials coming up with plans all day [Friday]."

RELATED: Businesses pushed to Stage 3 fight to reopen in San Diego

Saturday she sent 10News another message saying he was not a bad actor, "he got into a situation that was not intended and closed the restaurant down early. He knows he needs a better plan and is working on that. I hope that together we can come to a resolution. That’s what we all need right now. We need to figure this out together and stop attacking each other. And to remember that we’re all doing the best we can."

San Diego Police were out Saturday educating people and businesses about the new policies.

Friday Police Chief David Nisleit said they will shut down other businesses if they have to, adding they don't want it to come to that.

Marcheschi said Mavericks hasn't seen any trouble so far.

"We're all in this together, we have to be or else it's just not going to work," she said.

Mavericks cannot allow dogs under the current Stay at Home Order. If a patron orders an alcoholic beverage, they must also order food.