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Some San Diego restaurants, gyms quickly take advantage of red tier rules

Posted at 12:13 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 15:13:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Many restaurants and gyms across San Diego County on Wednesday wasted no time in taking advantage of the loosened COVID-19 restrictions brought on by the county’s move into the state’s red tier.

Howard Kruegel and his friends are regulars at the Family House of Pancakes restaurant in National City. For the last year, they’ve held their weekly breakfast meetups outside.

On Wednesday, the group of friends made sure to dine in the very first day indoor dining in the county was available.

Kruegel said, “It feels wonderful because it’s cold out there.”

Despite the indoor dining area open for customers, ABC 10News observed some customers choosing to eat outdoors.

Under California’s red tier for reopening, restaurants can serve people inside at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Family House of Pancakes Manager Shanti Spezzano said despite the roller coaster of a year, she’s hopeful things are finally headed in the right direction. She’s thankful they were able to bring back all of their employees to help kick things off.

“I feel like maybe in the next few months we'll be able to do 100 percent capacity or 75 percent capacity, and to just be able to live life again as normal as we could,” Spezzano said.

For those who want to work off their calories inside, 24 Hour Fitness on Balboa Avenue in Kearny Mesa was ready to welcome people back, now that gyms are able to operate at 10% capacity indoors.

Brandon Evans, the general manager of the Balboa Ave. location, said, "We recognize everyone feels different about COVID-19 and that's OK. So, we want to make sure we have every opportunity here in place for you to go towards your fitness goals.”