More Outdoor Seating And Heat Lamps Are Critical For Survival
The sound of construction is echoing through the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.
It is not, however, coming from hotels, apartments and condos being built. Instead, it is on streets and sidewalks in front of the restaurants, as those businesses are adapting to the county’s purple tier restrictions.
Yes, the restaurants have had these makeshift outdoor tables in place since the beginning of the pandemic. But now, with a second outdoor-only order and needing to make up for lost revenue, they are expanding their outside dining areas. Several have built wider areas to accommodate and extra row of tables and chairs.
This is particularly prevalent along Fifth Ave., the Gaslamp’s most clustered area of restaurants.
They – and others around the county – are doing whatever they can to stay in business after being ordered to go to California’s most restrictive level of coronavirus prevention. Even tho the county put out some interesting numbers that show most of the infections do not some from restaurants, bar/restaurants or even gyms and churches.
According to the county’s October figures based on contact tracing, bars and restaurants accounted for just 10% of locations that residents said they were at prior to getting infected. Places of worship made up just 3.5% and gyms only 0.5%.
Most said they became infected in their workplace or from visiting another person’s home.
Yet bars and restaurants are easy targets for politicians because, they claim, people make “poor decisions” when drinking alcohol and most people have drinks when going out to eat. Apparently people don’t always make good decisions when they are sober, either, such as electing certain politicians.
In the Gaslamp, in addition to adding more tables and chairs outside – some are taking up half the street now – restaurant/bars are placing TVs outdoor, too. After all, it’s football season and fans of college and NFL teams want to gather with other fans to watch the games.
Smoking Gun, which is a Florida Gators bar, went so far as to utilize the space next door at the coffee shop it owns to put out TVs. There were not many Florida fans there, tho, as the Gators were hammering Arkansas on Saturday. Most preferred to stay at home.
The restaurants face another challenge in attraction patrons that they cannot control. The weather has turned cooler at night, even down to “I’m freezing” levels. When the sun goes down the temperature is in the upper to mid-50s and those who don’t have a sweatshirt, sweater or even a coat, are quite uncomfortable sitting outside.
So bars and restaurants have had to put out several heat lamps, adding another purple tier expense for them.
To quote a line from a Jimmy Buffett song, “where it all ends, I can’t fathom my friends.”