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San Diego restaurant owners wait for direction from state on reopening

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Posted at 11:06 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 17:03:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to lay out reopening guidelines for restaurant dining areas in California on Tuesday, and many San Diego restaurant owners are hopeful for positive news on that front.

"We have all of our gloves, all of our silverware, everything in play. We could open today if we wanted to," said local restaurant co-owner Shannon Beckwith.

Beckwith co-owns STP Bar and Grill in Clairemont with Tina Romano. It’s a labor of love, and they've painstakingly created a brand with decor and custom muscle car memorabilia, that they're hoping will weather this storm.

The pandemic has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard. The chance to reopen their dining room to customers would allow Beckwith and Romano to try to recoup some of what's been lost.

They say they'll work with whatever the governor and the county ultimately lay out for guidelines, such as the number of tables they can have, sanitation protocols and employee training. They're creating their Safe Reopening Plan according to San Diego County protocols, but need specifics on what will be required of them.

Romano said they haven't laid anyone off. On Tuesday, the staff was at the restaurant to clean and sanitize the whole place, including hubcap wall decor and bathroom countertops made out of truck tailgates.

"We still have everyone on the payroll. That was our primary goal was to keep everyone employed," Romano said.

They've converted to doing takeout exclusively and opening during more limited hours of operation. It’s not the same as seeing their customers sitting down to share meals and maybe a kind word for the chef.

"At the end of the day, we look at someone that ate something at that table and said, 'That's the best thing I ever ate' -- that's it," said Beckwith.

"We've done our job," added Romano.