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Restaurants take over parking lots, sidewalks to stay open amid new coronavirus restrictions

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Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 14, 2020

Restaurants in Santa Barbara County are finding new ways of adapting to the state's coronavirus restrictions.

Some restaurants have started offering outdoor seating by taking over parking lots, lawns, and sidewalks.

El Pueblito and Chef Rick's have both set up dining tables in their parking lots, and The Pantry is using its lawn and sidewalk for outdoor dining.

Red Robin, located in the Santa Maria Town Center mall, is also adapting to outdoor seating.

"The challenge is, right now, will just be the amount of seating we can use but as of right now it's kind of a test run seeing what we can do, get people to now that we're back open again," said Patrick Newton, Red Robin General Manager.

Red Robin reopened Monday for inside dining but quickly switched to curbside pickup after Governor Gavin Newsom's order to shut down indoor dining statewide.

Outdoor dining is allowed, according to Santa Barbara County's Health Officer Order, which was updated Tuesday to include the closure of gyms, churches, non-essential offices, personal care services, and hair salons per the governor's order.

However, those sectors can remain open if they move operations outdoors.

Click here to read the latest county order.