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Local bars prepare for increased business as more sectors reopen

Crowds flock to bars as they reopen in San Luis Obispo
Posted at 11:07 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-13 02:07:04-04

Downtown San Luis Obispo is more vibrant than it’s been over the past few months.

That’s because bars are back in business.

Twelve different sectors, including bars, were given the ‘okay’ to reopen on Friday.

“Tonight it feels like there's something new in the air,” said Myriam Olaizola, Owner of Black Sheep Bar and Grill.

You can now order your favorite cocktail or adult beverage at the bar.

“This is really big news, because up until yesterday literally we needed to every time somebody walked in and maybe wanted to have a cold beer or a cocktail, we had to ask them, ‘Can you get a burger, or can you get mac-and-cheese with that?,’” Olaizola said.

Black Sheep Bar and Grill has been able to keep its doors open in some capacity amid COVID-19. But more recently, under the pandemic guidelines, if customers ordered alcohol, food was required, too.

“Now to not to have to get food with a drink is a nice thing to have,” said customer, Kellie Adams.

Other bars that have been closed for months, like the popular Frog & Peach, are back to business too, marking their first weekend back.

“I think it's pretty exciting for us to just have hope that things are starting to get back to the way they used to be,” Adams said.

Inside the doors of Black Sheep, customers can expect some changes, even with restrictions slowly being lifted.

“You can see, I removed all of my bar-stools from the bar. At this time, I don't feel that I can have people -- a whole bunch of people -- being at the bar,” Olaizola said.

With more businesses opening their doors, Dr. Penny Borenstein says this will likely increase transmission.

“We’re still asking for distancing and face-coverings when you're not drinking, if you're in the setting,” said Dr. Borenstein, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer.

“I definitely feel safe with the measures that are being taken,” Adams said.

Black Sheep is planning to add plexiglass in certain spots along the bar, and it’s also considering reservations for the coveted area depending on how things play out.

“I can't wait for things to open up more and more and for us to get closer and closer than six feet,” Adams said.

The owner of Black Sheep says they’re not staying open until 2 a.m. as usual until they can accommodate more people. Instead, they'll close at 11 p.m.

Frog & Peach will be open until 2 a.m. -- as will McCarthy’s.