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Restaurants, bars temporarily close due to spike in COVID-19 cases

Restaurant closures
Posted at 10:53 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-24 01:53:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The surge in COVID-19 cases is forcing some restaurants to close temporarily.

San Diego County reported 1,856 new cases on Tuesday, Dec 21. That's the highest number we've seen since August.

This week, the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park and the Heartwork Coffee Bar in the Mission Hills Neighborhood both shut their doors due to COVID-19.

In Facebook posts, the restaurants cited breakthrough COVID infections and exposure among staff as the reasons for the temporary closures.

Last week, The Lion's Share restaurant in the Marina District was closed for almost a week after multiple staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

"It just simply tells us that we’re not done with this [pandemic] yet," Dan Roccato, a Clinical Professor of Finance at the University of San Diego, said.

Roccato said certain businesses will be impacted more than others, especially those still dealing with staffing shortages.

"It particularly hurts our small businesses," he said. "The big businesses, they’ll get through. It’s a small business on the corner that really is going to suffer."

Meanwhile, business at other eateries remains up and running.

"We've been very fortunate. We try to be very vigilant. We try to do strict mask requirements. I encourage testing," Gerald Torres, owner of City Tacos, said.

Torres said he's grateful to be able to keep the doors open and recalls what it felt like having to shut down several locations in March for a couple of months.

"Those were probably the most difficult months in my life. There was no sense of purpose. There was a lot of despair," Torres said.

But revenue is now up. With vaccines and safety precautions in place, Torres feels optimistic amid the latest surge.

"I think that we’ve become a little more custom to living and working under these conditions with the COVID virus going throughout the country," Torres said.

The Whistle Stop Bar said it would reopen after Christmas. The Heartwork Coffee Bar said until further notice.