Reopening California: Restaurants spring into action after surprise announcement in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Restaurant owners and managers across San Francisco are busy trying to get ready for customers this Friday after the mayor made a surprise announcement that they can then reopen for outdoor seated service. The original plan was to allow outdoor seating on Monday.

"This is really exciting. I know everyone has been waiting for a long time. We are trying to get ready for that," said James Maneepairojn, the manager of Blackwood Restaurant and Café on Chestnut Street.

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He called his team in Wednesday morning to start getting ready.

"Right now, we are having a meeting with our employees, training them on how to sanitize, how to treat customers," he said Wednesday morning.

He thinks he will be able to fit four tables on the restaurant's front patio Friday but hopes to expand next week.

The mayor said restaurants can apply for permits to put tables in areas usually considered public right of ways, like sidewalks. Blackwood's team plans to do that, hoping to expand to the sidewalk and maybe even the parking lane of Chestnut Street.

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But will customers show up?

One San Francisco resident told us he thinks people may be too settled at home. "It'll probably be a while before we go out. We are really comfortable at home," said Gene McCoy.

He said the social distancing will feel isolating. But he also recognizes that restaurants need the business.

"It's great. It's a good idea. But a lot of people are going to be hesitant going back. But I know it is tough for restaurants, they are really hurting, as you know," he said.



But Brad Dickinson said he thinks it is time.

"I feel like we are all ready to get back out and see where it takes us. You have to take the first step and figure out if it's going to spike or whatever is going to happen. But if you don't take the first step you don't know," he said. Dickinson does plan to eat at a restaurant.

Diners will be required to wear a mask any time they leave the table.

A maximum of six people will be allowed at a table unless everyone lives in the same household.

Some restaurants might not be ready by Friday so it is advised that you call first to see if they are open.

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