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Liberty Station businesses see increase in foot traffic

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Feb 23, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Businesses at Liberty Station, which saw visits plummet early in the pandemic, are seeing the opposite effect now that the most recent stay-at-home order has lifted.

For Breakfast Republic at Liberty Station, surviving the pandemic has been a tale of feast and famine.

"When patio dining is allowed, yes, there's a lot of people at Liberty Station, but when it was takeout only, we struggled way more in Liberty Station than, for instance, North Park," said owner Johan Engman.

Outdoor dining has been allowed since late January when the most recent stay-at-home order lifted. And, thanks to a partnership with Stone Brewing, Breakfast Republic has extra patio to help get Engman's employee count back to pre-pandemic levels.

"People are, frankly, I think, sick of being cooped up at home and they want to go out and eat and enjoy this nice weather," Engman said.

And Point Loma's Liberty Station is perhaps one of the best places to get out. It's adjacent to the waterfront NTC Park, with plenty of quads, free parking and places to eat outside.

Plus, cycling and yoga studios and gyms have expanded outdoors amid the pandemic.

"As people got a little antsy and wanted to get out, you start to look for those places where they have plenty of space and you're not feeling like you're packed together, so it definitely has picked up," said Laurie Albercht, director of the Liberty Station Community Association.

Albrecht said visits dropped when the first lockdown hit last spring, but that the complex still has more than 100 businesses operating, with only a handful of closures.

However, people are now choosing this area to get back out.

"The fact that people may be discovering Liberty Station because of its open parks and this and that is great for us," Engman said.

His restaurant, just one of the many options steps away.