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San Diego restaurants brace for another shut down under new stay-at-home orders

Posted at 11:01 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 02:10:37-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - New restrictions going into effect Sunday night limit restaurants, wineries and breweries to take out only, making them brace for the next three weeks.

The new stay-at-home orders mandated by Governor Gavin Newsom were triggered due to the rapidly increasing number of hospitalizations from the coronavirus.

Mike Hess, Chief Brewing Officer at Mike Hess Brewing, estimated this will be the fifth time his breweries have to shut down across San Diego.

"I've kinda lost track of the dates and times, I know we're just doing what we need to do to keep going," he said.

Each time, he's reinvented the business, making hand sanitizer, selling canned beer to go and adding COVID-19 safety measures in order to reopen.

"This is tough, it's very hard on a business. It's very hard to manage a business that is reliant on a certain amount of cash flow and business operations," Hess said.

Starting Monday they'll shut down again. This time he's transforming some of their outdoor seating at their Imperial Beach location into a drive through lane.

"People can cruise right in to that orange cone barricade, go right around Elm, right back up Ocean and pick up their tacos and beer right out of the back door which is right where the food comes out of the kitchen anyway so it's going to be piping hot," he said.

Hess added the North Park location will also have a drive through option.

He hopes they see enough take out customers in the next three weeks, the length the new orders last, to avoid any furloughs this holiday season.

"We have 80 families that work for Mike Hess Brewing and they're relying on us for a paycheck so the shut down is having a big effect," he said.

Hess is frustrated the new restrictions target the restaurant industry when retail is allowed to open in a limited capacity.

He is still holding a "Joy Drive" for the Jesse Rees Foundation, donating 25% of gift card sales through December 21st.