SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- We are just hours away from Opening Day, and for both the Padres and businesses in East Villages, it's game on!
Alex Pierson both lives and works in East Village. As a resident, he is seeing his neighborhood reborn into Padres Nation. As the CEO of Amplified Kitchen and Beer Garden, he is ready for hungry fans.
"There's limitations with occupancy, but hey, anything better than zero is a plus in our book," Pierson said. "We spent all week preparing!"
The shutdown was especially tough for businesses in East Village that rely heavily on Padres fans during the summer months.
"It was kind of this whiplash that we were thinking we could re-open and then pulling back," Diane Peabody Straw, Executive Director of the East Village Association, said.
But with Opening Day coming up, Pierson said he hired more staff, implemented safety protocols, created more indoor and outdoor seating, and even joined forces with other restaurants in East Village.
Amplified is one of 14 East Village businesses offering special tastings on Opening Day. For $40, fans can enjoy special menus from restaurants, breweries, dessert shops.
"Taste everything that East Village has to offer!" Peabody Straw said.
"We are offering a slice of pizza and an 8-ounce beverage, either one of our house beers or house coffees," Pierson said.
"Enjoy watching the game and hop from restaurant to restaurant, patio the patio," Peabody Straw said.
Their goal is for fans to discover or revisit some of the gems in East Village. They hope that "Opening Day" will lead to more of California "Opening up."
"I think tomorrow really is that watershed catalyst for us to get us over the hump, and I feel like getting back to some normalcy."