Some San Diego restaurant workers back on the job as others wait

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Posted at 3:56 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 20:09:04-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Peter Mrvos couldn't be more elated to be back on the job at OB Noodle House.

“I'll work seven days a week, 14 hours,” he said Wednesday. “This is a great social environment, we want to make sure that we’re doing it correctly based on the new mandates.”

Mrvos saw his hours cut in half amid the shutdown order, which in December relegated restaurants to takeout only and forced salons to close. In all, upwards of 9,000 restaurant workers in the county lost their jobs, as the state sought to limit the increased spread of the coronavirus amid 0% ICU capacity.

But when the order surprisingly lifted Monday, OB Noodle House owner Scott Yeng made the call to staff back up and serve outside, including on its recently built outdoor patio.

“It’s better than caffeine, better than any wake-up call, this is the big energy boost that we've all been waiting for the last few months,” he said.

The shutdown order may be lifted, but not every restaurant is being so quick to bring workers back. Some are waiting to the weekend, others even longer.

Valentina in Encinitas is open with a limited menu and only taking walk-ins for outdoor dining. It's waiting until Feb. 11 to finish up a renovation and bring back all of its servers, like Victoria Lage.

“With school, with the busy schedule, it was the perfect flexibility, the perfect income,” she said.

Under the current purple tier, restaurants can serve outdoors and personal care salons can open with restrictions. Gyms must remain outdoors only.