'We need to reopen': San Francisco business owners anxiously wait for plans to reopen indoors

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Mayor London Breed hinted during a speech Monday there will be an announcement tomorrow that will guide the next step in the city's reopening plans.

"We need to reopen, we need to reopen... I don't know how else to say it," said Omar Nazzal, owner of Old Mission Barber Shop.

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"I think at this point it's an illusion of safety."

Nazzal's shop is nestled in between two restaurants in San Francisco's mission district. There is 11 feet of curbside space that would accommodate two chairs outside his storefront.

"It isn't realistic. I have barbers that are behind on rent...barbers that have family members... kids that they have to feed... including myself," Nazzal said. "It's not realistic."

For Nazzal, it's not realistic nor enough for his barbers to make a living.

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While reopening is good news, one San Francisco restaurant owner says the industry needs clearer guidance about when and how indoor dining will resume, "Otherwise I think you'll see a lot of people opting to close their restaurants and wait over the winter."



"It's getting out of hand at this point, it's just been a struggle," he said. "We've been borrowing money from family and friends."

Bob Partrite shares the same struggle. He owns four restaurants along Pier 39, including Wipeout and Fog Harbor Fishhouse.

"Each day has been different. And new guidelines change everyday," he said. "We wrote a 150-page manual on how to operate in these times... so yes it's been challenging. But we are ready for the challenge."

Partrite said he's thankful he can at least operate in some capacity, but outdoor dining alone isn't going to cut it.

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Mayor Breed said she will announce when businesses will get the green light to move indoors Tuesday, but she doesn't want to move too quickly and have to pull back.

"A month ago... it was one of the worse days of my life to have to go out there and tell businesses one thing and then tell them something else. Because I know financially, what that means to their livelihood," Breed said.

But the question now is - how many owners like Nazzal will be able to withstand the wait?

"You put your heart and soul into this, you put your savings, your whole life building up to this moment," he said. "I don't want to have to close my doors."

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