Patrons wait hours to get House of Prime Rib to go in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- For many the Christmas rush was on Thursday night, shoppers getting last-minute food and gifts.

At House of Prime Rib in San Francisco, the wait to get food was several hours and the line stretched around the block.

RELATED: Smaller crowds this year for last dash of holiday shopping

"Never seen anything like this. I'm very grateful for the customers to come here. We try our best to speed it up but it's something we've never seen before," said House of Prime Rib owner Joe Betz.

Hundreds waited in line as long as 4 hours to purchase some of the 2,000 pounds of prime rib being cooked.

"I took a half day off from work," said Elgeo Martinez of Newark.

"It's a San Francisco institution, we're happy they're still open," said Brad Davis of San Francisco. Davis and his friend Matt Herridge sat in camping chairs as they waited for hours to get prime rib.

RELATED: Holiday shoppers brave outdoor lines as stores enforce COVID-19 restrictions

"We're probably a quarter of the way there and we've been here about an hour so," said Herridge.

"The good part is I didn't pay for it, my sister-in-law did! That's the good part!" said one man whose bill was $185 for three people.

As for last minute shopping there were no lines outside of the Target in Colma.

"I picked up a lamp right here," said Brandon Hong after coming out of the Target. Random yes but on Christmas Eve there's no more waiting, even during a COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers got what they needed.

"I totally forgot it was Christmas, I'm not going to lie, this year has been different," said Jas Brown who had purchased items at several stores when we spoke with her.

RELATED: Parents scramble to find most-wished-for holiday gifts amid possible toy shortage

In Livermore, we didn't see lines but did see lots of people working to get those last minute gifts. Some with specific plans to make sure they weren't out of their house for too long.

"We were just in there for like 15 minutes we knew exactly what we were looking for. We didn't bother to look for anything else," says Nasri Samara.

So many doing what they have to do to try and add a bit of flavor to this COVID-19 Christmas.

"Are we perfect? No, but we're trying to do our best," said Joe Betz outside of House of Prime Rib. Before walking back inside the two had one last thing to say, "Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas!"
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.