State guidelines will allow bars and wineries to reopen as early as Friday, June 12.
After months of being out of business due to state orders, bars that don’t sell food will be able to open. The businesses will have to follow social distancing and sanitation requirements while open.
Come Friday, you will be able to get a cold beer or a glass of wine at several bars without buying food.
“The businesses are really eager to get back to work and get employees back because many of them have been furloughed for three months at this point,” said Bettina Swigger, CEO of Downtown SLO. “They’re eager to bring their business back, but it’s going to be one of those things that will be determined by the behavior of the consumer.”
The businesses that plan to reopen need to fill out a self-certification form on the county’s website.
Luis Wine Bar in San Luis Obispo plans to open at 4 p.m. on Friday. The owner, Vanessa North, says her staff is excited to get back to work.
“We’re in a pretty fortunate position. We have a lot of space. We have big open windows. We have a back patio, so it will be nice and airy in here,” North said. “Even with spacing it out, we have enough space for nine groups inside, plus the patio. As far as bars go, we have a pretty good setup.”
But the inside will look a bit different when the doors open.
“No one can sit at the bar. We’ve tucked the chairs away, and we’ll have to remind people that they can’t sit there,” North said.
Black Sheep in San Luis Obispo has remained open but says customers will need to wait at the door to be seated to prevent overcrowding. Employees will also be wearing face coverings.
“We want them to feel safe. I want them to know that we are doing everything in our power to keep everybody safe, but we’re just one place,” said Myriam Olaizola, owner of Black Sheep. “We can’t account for everything that people do outside of our place or in other places. We can only do our part.”