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San Diego-area bartenders worry about large holiday crowds

Posted at 12:36 AM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 23:04:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Some San Diego bartenders are worried about the large crowds that could come into the area during the Fourth of July weekend.

Seth Dominique said it's a tough time for bartenders. He works as a bartender in Pacific Beach, and he also has many friends in the same line of work that are all bracing for a high number of visitors for the holiday weekend.

"You can ask 10 bartenders, and nine of them will tell you the crowds are coming. The tourists are going to come. They're not going to stay at home," he said.

Dominique said while many bars and restaurants have put proper social distancing in place, some customers don't always follow them.

"At a certain point in time with alcohol consumption, people will -- not on purpose -- but they just stop listening," he said. "It's stressful because you're reminding people constantly, 'Put your mask on, don't move, don't stand in the middle of the floor.'"

San Diego County has ordered bars that don't serve food to shut down. Restaurants can serve alcohol with food to people sitting at a table, and there is a 10 p.m. curfew in place.

"I really support the 10 p.m. idea; I don't think it's going to help this weekend because it's going to be a daytime crowd," Dominique said.

Dominique said he and other bartenders are having to weigh financial benefits and health risks. He said he is young and healthy, so he doesn't worry about his health. However, he worries about getting the virus and possibly infecting family members who are older and more at risk. He started an online petition to close down at-risk sectors of San Diego for the holiday weekend.

But with the Fourth of July weekend starting, Dominique doesn't believe it will yield any change but says it has value in giving many of his peers in the service industry a voice.

"Just be respectful, try to listen to your bartenders, try to listen to your servers," he said, "We're not trying to be hard on you. We understand your frustrations, but we're just trying to do our jobs. We're trying to stay open and get our economy going again."

Bartenders have also started a petition in an effort to get bars to close on July Fourth.