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Winter weather forces San Diego restaurants to adjust

Winter weather pop up tents
Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 20:51:19-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Snow fell in the mountains, hail came down in east county, and rain-soaked most of the rest of San Diego County Wednesday.

Downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter, tents popped up resembling a farmers market. It was actually restaurant owners preparing for a wet 48 hours to protect their customers.

"It’s like a soft day in Ireland as they would say. But you know, you just have to adapt to it," owner of The Field Irish Pub Daniel Drayne said with a thick accent.

Off the curb, a sturdy dining area complete with hanging televisions and market lights was constructed last Fall in anticipation of bad weather.

Across the sidewalk, directly in front of the restaurant, a blue pop-up tent was established Wednesday morning.

"We have the covers here on the outside dining and we have covers here that we bring out in an emergency whenever it does rain, so I mean it’s not the end of the world. It’s another battle, but it just adds another piece of work for us, but we can get through it," Drayne said smiling.

He said he's ready for more winter weather Wednesday night and Thursday.

According to ABC 10News meteorologist Megan Parry we will only total half an inch to two inches on average in the coast and valleys by Friday, with snow in the mountains.

"I feel like it's terrible since they're moving outside, everything is getting wet now so they have to be considering the rain now. It's terrible I feel bad for them." Neighbor Kristina Lambert said.

The weather brought cooler temperatures, shocking The Field customer Nick Goyal, who is visiting on business from Atlanta.

"I was anticipating warmer weather honestly." Goyal said he even brought a few short sleeve polos for the trip and was thankful he wore a jacket Wednesday afternoon.

Goyal said he appreciated the work the restaurants put into creating comfortable outdoor dining space and he knows how hard the industry has been hit.

"I think it’s great," he said referring to the outdoor patio. "If this message gets to your governor, I’d say open it up. I think everywhere is opening up and people are smart enough to be cautious."

The shutdown is also affecting holiday plans. Saint Patrick's Day is in a week and for the second year in a row, the Gaslamp Quarter's St. Patrick's Day pub crawl will be canceled, according to Drayne.

While the rain adds challenges for businesses, this winter has been relatively dry for the county, which could lead to a drought down the road.