Pleasanton restaurant owners frustrated after Alameda County delays indoor dining

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- With their counterparts in neighboring Contra Costa County now allowed to offer limited inside dining, restaurant owners in Pleasanton are not too happy that Alameda County health officials won't grant them the same privilege, despite meeting the state's coronavirus threshold.

"Ten miles away, you can drive down the road and have a meal," said Mike Connors, owner of Hap's Original Steaks and Seafood. "I think we've gotten drug into what's happening in Oakland, where their numbers are quite high for the coronavirus."

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In deciding to delay inside dining for four to six weeks, even at 25% capacity, Alameda County health officials said, "Having different households together while they eat and drink for extended periods of time in an enclosed space eliminates the protections social distancing and wearing a mask provide."

In June, Pleasanton closed its Main Street on weekends to facilitate outside dining, and its definitely helped restaurants survive, but the closure ends Nov. 1 and the weather is changing.

"Especially for the wife, when she is too cold. Gotta bring a jacket and this and that, so being inside makes it easier," said diner Ignacio Avila.

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John Cooper is visiting Pleasanton from Michigan, where limited inside dining is allowed.

"I don't feel unsafe. I feel cautious," said Cooper. "You have to use your common sense, but it doesn't stop us going out."

Connors told us even with outside seating, business at Hap's Original Steaks and Seafood is off 85 percent compared with last year and he's had to lay off 40 people.

"There's going to be a lot businesses that won't be around," said Connors. "If they don't get us inside."

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Pleasanton restaurant owners plan to meet with Congressman Eric Swalwell next week to ask for his help.

They're also considering legal action against Alameda County.

Take a look at all of ABC7's Building a Better Bay Area stories and videos here.

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