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Restaurants in the Village of Arroyo Grande move dining outside after second mandated closure

Posted at 11:36 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 17:52:10-04

In the Village of Arroyo Grande, parking lots have been converted into outdoor dining rooms.

Many local businesses are trying to adapt as more mandated closures were announced this week including the closure of indoor dining.

"We were planning for it, you know we knew it was coming. We saw it coming at a time and we were just not sure when it was going to hit us,” said Lee Samways, the co-owner of Humdinger Brewing.

Restaurants were hit with another set back after reopening just a few weeks ago.

This time they are forced to close indoor dining services after a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in San Luis Obispo County.

"Once we started to see that the numbers were going up, which we had no control over, we started to really think about how we can remain open," said Daniel Perez, the general manager of Mason Bar & Grill.

For those who wanted to stay open, they had to think outside the box.

Mason Bar and Kitchen is one of the many restaurants that took the initiative to set up tables and chairs outdoors.

"We started Monday afternoon so we are looking at three straight days. Everyone else had made such a huge commitment to get opened and come back to work and so that's initially why we did it," said Perez.

Even with a makeshift restaurant, they wanted to enhance their customer's dining experience by setting up a canopy, lights, and heaters.

Although businesses are adapting to this new normal, many have had to make difficult decisions to stay afloat.

"It's been really tough you know, we've had to lay off ten people. We had to kinda just get back
down to lean and mean gritty of things," said Samways.

In such an uncertain time, restaurant owners like Kori Gomez of Villa Cantina say, all anyone can do is try and keep up.

"My motto is just, I have to keep going, I just have to keep going, keep having to adjust and roll with the punches at this point. I’m not going to give up,” said Gomez.

Most of these businesses owners said they are taking this closure day by day and adjusting as things continue to change.

Their hope is to keep creating an environment where people can get that feeling
of normality, but remain safe.