Days before New Year's Eve, some SF Castro bars close temporarily due to omicron surge

ByCornell W. Barnard KGO logo
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Some Castro bars temporarily close ahead of NYE due to omicron
With the omicron variant starting to surge, some San Francisco bars are making a difficult decision to close temporarily through Jan. 1.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the omicron variant starting to surge, some San Francisco bars and restaurants are making a difficult decision to close temporarily out of caution. This comes just days before New Year's Eve.

"I was happy we made the decision and weren't told we had to close down," said Joe Cappelletti.

Cappelletti says he made the tough choice before Christmas to temporarily close his Castro District bar, Moby Dick, just as the omicron variant started to spike.

A sign on the door says the bar will stay closed through January 1.

RELATED: As omicron variant spreads, Oakland bar voluntarily closes to protect staff before holidays

"We already had one of our employees have a breakthrough COVID infection, we didn't want any more people getting sick," Cappelletti said.

Several other bars and restaurants in the Castro have made the same choice to close temporarily.

A sign on the door of The Edge says it won't reopen until owners have better information about the spread of omicron.

"I think it's smart, I'm hearing how the omicron variant can be easily be transmitted indoors," said bar patron Dave Cunningham.

Owners and staff at Santeria Restaurant have made the collective choice to stay open.

"Closing ten days or a month would mean the end of the dream, we love what we do, we're going to keep fighting," said Santeria owner Eduardo Sandoval.

RELATED: Here's what to do if exposed to COVID at a holiday gathering

Lily Nguyen is organizing several large-scale New Year's Eve parties in San Francisco, including a masquerade ball at Origin Nightclub.

She says there are no plans to cancel because of strict COVID protocols for guests.

"These events are still happening on New Year's Eve, but we are taking all precautions by making sure we check for proof of vaccinations of everybody who walks through that door," said Nguyen.

She says tickets are still available.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warns against ringing in the new year with those who might be unvaccinated.

"But when you're talking 30, 40, 50 people celebrating and you do not know the status of the vaccination, I would recommend stay away this year," Fauci said.