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San Diego businesses feel the squeeze between coronavirus and winter weather

Posted at 7:38 PM, Nov 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 23:36:44-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Restaurants are feeling backed into a corner after the pandemic forced them to add outdoor seating and Saturday brought cold rain and high winds.

As the clouds rolled in, businesses across San Diego braced for impact.

"We were planning on covering everything up but we were kind of waiting and seeing just how big the storm was going to be," Whiskey Girl Manager Jake Southworth said.

In the Gaslamp, he says they've been lucky this weekend, "We were ready to go with more of the tarps, to put out but waited till midnight when we were closed anyway, so definitely dodged a bullet there and today again it looks like it's going to hold off until later so I feel like we're still going to be doing good."

Whiskey Girl is on a section of Fifth Avenue that shuts down to vehicle traffic Thursday through Saturday, allowing restaurants to spill into the street and seat more customers.

The extra chairs help them stay afloat, but outside the rain and future winter weather are putting a damper on their options.

Some businesses put up pop-up shades and umbrellas to provide some shelter against the weather.

"I mean it does open a lot more seating having outside but we'll see what the weather sends us," Southworth said.

Every restaurant is also holding its breath, waiting to see if the county drops into the purple most restrictive tier next week, which would mean no indoor dining at all.

"How can I ask someone to spend, you know $10 - $12 on a drink if they're sitting outside shivering and the rain's coming through?" Tipsy Crow Director of Operations Nathan Colonero said they would have to close down and let go of their staff.

The threat of the purple tier has been hanging over San Diegan's heads for a month and a half.

Many businesses are frustrated with the roller coaster of changes, and hopeful a new president will mean changes that will help them through.