SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — From upscale restaurants to neighborhood coffee shops, the winter COVID surge is forcing the temporarily closure of eateries across San Diego County.
"We've had to make decisions that we never anticipated making," said Tim Kolanko, executive chef at Urban Kitchen Group. "Before you'd sort of just power through, and you work longer hours, you give people overtime, you work extra days."
Urban Kitchen Group's Cucina Sorella has been closed for about a week due to some employees testing positive. The plan is to reopen the Kensington restaurant Wednesday.
Across the county, restaurant staff are calling out in big numbers due to possible exposure, a positive test or simply not feeling well.
In La Jolla, Piatti restaurant canceled New Years Eve reservations and plans to reopen on Wednesday. Down the street, the famous Marine Room closed New Years Day with plans not to reopen until the 12th.
In Golden Hill, the Krakatoa coffee shop, which has already reduced hours, will close Wednesday and Thursday to give its staff a rest.
"Emotionally I'm okay but physically I'm a little tired," manager Iran Arellano said. "I feel like I've worked so much within the last days, not even weeks because it's so recent."
To add to the shortage, employment in San Diego County food service and drinking places is down about 10 percent from pre-pandemic levels.