Restaurants in San Luis Obispo County are changing up their seating arrangements as the county is now back in the red COVID-19 tier.
The new rules mean restaurants can open indoor seating at 25% capacity or 100 guests, whichever is less.
Wednesday is the first day restaurants can welcome some customers back inside since September.
"Originally, we were shut down completely except for take-out, then they were allowing us to do outside only, then we had a brief period where we could bring inside again, then that stopped again, then we were outside only," said Steve Bland, SLO Provisions owner.
With the changing tier statuses came different rules for eateries. While some have been able to accommodate outdoor guests, restaurant owners say allowing for indoor operations will help during the remainder of winter.
Buona Tavola partner and manager Andrea Fabbretti says they were grateful to have an outdoor dining space while indoor dining was shut down.
"But we still miss seating people inside. We have usually 35-40 people we can usually sit. At this point, it will be of course much less than what it will usually be but it is a good step and we are happy to have people eating inside with the heater and this cold weather," he says.
Some customers say they are looking forward to supporting local businesses as they expand their dining options.
"Sitting outside has been nice. I like that businesses made outdoor dining more of an availability but the weather doesn't always permit it so it is nice to be able to come and sit inside when you want to," said customer Amy Koulkani.