'When do we have our freedom back?': San Francisco restaurant patrons dine outside despite stay-at-home order

ByJR Stone KGO logo
Thursday, December 10, 2020
SF restaurant patrons eat outside despite stay-at-home order
There are many questions coming in regarding the City of San Francisco's rules on outdoor dining. A complaint has been filed after restaurant patrons were seen eating in a parklet outside of Original Joe's in North Beach.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are many questions coming in regarding the city of San Francisco's rules on outdoor dining.

Patrons could be seen eating and drinking outside the popular North Beach restaurant Original Joe's Wednesday evening. Restaurant employees from other locations say it isn't fair that one restaurant can stay open and others must close.

As we began asking questions, some were not happy to see our cameras and one man quickly turned on us.

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"You come out and criticize the public, right?" That from a restaurant patron at San Francisco's Original's Joes reacting to our questions about his decision to eat outside with others, at a table, and in a city parklet, during the stay-at-home order. Right after questioning us, he whacked our microphone and sent it flying to the ground.

It is important to note that we came to the North Beach location, where around a dozen people were dining, after other restaurant employees reached out to us saying it isn't fair that people are still eating outside some restaurants when outdoor dining technically isn't allowed in San Francisco.

"Is this considered outdoor dining? I guess it could be considered outdoor dining," says Joe Guinnane, who is against the stay-at-home order. With a sarcastic tone another man went on to say, "There is no outdoor dining!"

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The manager at Originals Joe's wouldn't talk to us on camera but says what we saw Wednesday night outside Original Joe's wasn't outdoor dining, that instead patrons got to-go meals and chose to sit where the restaurants tables are being stored. That happens to be outside in the restaurant's parklets, where heat lamps are turned on at full blast.

Some say there should not be restrictions in place.

"Are our lives going to be controlled? At the same time, when do we have our freedom back?" says Guinnane.

Most patrons didn't want to talk with us and turned their heads when we tried to get their opinions on the matter and, of course, then there was the man who came back, yelled at us and hit our microphone. Supervisor Aaron Peskin says a complaint has been received by the city and inspectors are looking into this to see if any rules have been broken.

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