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Restaurants and retailers preparing for in-person dining and shopping

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 19, 2020

After Governor Gavin Newsom modified the state's criteria for counties to further re-open in Stage 2, San Luis Obispo County is now eligible to move forward, once they get approval from the state.

This news is paving the way for some SLO County businesses, like restaurants and retail, to take a step closer to returning to normal operations. Owners are already laying the groundwork to ensure the health and safety of customers and staff.

"This whole time we've been taking chairs, putting them in storage, and everybody's six feet apart now. We've already ordered all of our menus, we got salt and peppers off the table, we have salt and pepper packets for that," said Eric Peterson, North County Restaurant Group owner.

Jack's Bar and Grill in Templeton has been relying on takeout orders for months, but after news that the county could move to re-open faster than expected, Peterson is working to make sure everything is in place for when customers can once again eat inside.

"We're pretty much ready. When they say go, we'll pretty much be ready to open the next day," Peterson said.

In-store retail shopping is another service that will re-open once San Luis Obispo County can move forward.

SLO Swim in Downtown San Luis Obispo is planning ahead for the day shoppers can return.

"I have four fitting rooms, so we'll only have one available at a time. It looks like I'll probably be able to put three people in here to have good social distancing," said Shelley Filip, SLO Swim owner.

As moving further into Stage 2 could happen within days in SLO County, business owners are excited to re-open, even under a new normal.

"I'm so excited and my customers will be excited," Filip said.

"Feels great, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter," Peterson said.

Businesses like salons and gyms won’t reopen until California moves into stage 3, which Governor Newsom suggested Monday could be just weeks away.