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Some San Diego restaurants fear the worst amid move into COVID-19 purple tier

Posted at 4:34 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 11:08:36-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Restaurant owners across San Diego County are preparing to once again take their indoor operations outside, but some say this latest move will put them out of business for good.

On Tuesday, state health officials announced updated data that places the county in the restrictive purple tier under California's COVID-19 reopening plan.

For Ike Gazaryan and other local business owners, this will be the third time since March that they will be forced to shut down.

Gazaryan, who owns Pushkin Russian Restaurant and Bar on Sixth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, said, "Every time you shut down and open, it costs $15,000, $20,000 because you have to buy all the produce, you have to bring all the employees back, you have to clean everything.”

Gazaryan told ABC 10News that outdoor dining isn't an option at his location, and he said weather isn't the only issue.

"Before you had a lot of people and they were able to somewhat control the homelessness. Now, there are a lot of people losing everything they had, you have more homeless people, you have less people walking around because nobody is working in the offices, so percentage-wise it looks like it's a homeless town at this point," said Gazaryan.

Gazaryan owns the restaurant and two other related businesses. He doesn't want to have to fire his 20 employees, but he doesn't think he's going to make it.

"I'm really afraid I'm going to lose my restaurant before the end of this year. I really think I'm going to lose pretty much all of them," said Gazaryan.

He understands the need for precautions, though.

"COVID is real, masks are needed, all of these things are needed, but at the same time, if we lose all our small businesses, I don't even know what I would do," said Gazaryan.

The new restrictions take effect at midnight on Saturday.