Walnut Creek restaurants try to preserve outdoor dining with storms underway

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Forecasted rain this week has some Walnut Creek restaurant managers thinking of ways to keep outdoor dining.

Dining out in the street became popular in the pandemic, not just because it helps limit COVID-19 transmission, but also because the weather has been clear.

"Everybody loves outdoor dining," said Candace Williams, the manager of Broderick. "In fact, I would say it is more popular for outdoor dining than indoors."

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However, rain this week could make it difficult for some restaurants to continue outdoor dining.

"We might lose some customers," Williams said. "But we still have a large patio that is covered well, so we can still do outdoor dining."
Other managers fear the rain can cause them to close their outdoor section.

"People really don't want to see that," said Neo Buirak, the manager of Tosap Thai Kitchen. "We could be ok for light rain. We can bring heaters for the guests if they want. If the wind and rain pick up, we might have to move them."

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Contra Costa County currently has a vaccination requirement for people eating indoors.
The county has a vaccination rate over 80%, but outdoor dining removes the possibility of confrontation about the mandate.

"We will still be open," Buirak said. "People just need to show us proof of vaccine to eat inside and that will work."

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