SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A drop in tiers has met a drop in temperatures in Sacramento County. As restaurant dining is being forced back outside amid the ongoing pandemic, this time the cold and rain are also in the mix.
On Friday, down to the wire adjustments were being made at restaurants to make outdoor dining bearable.
Heaters and propane tanks are now on deck as cold, rainy weather takes over following the county’s transition back into California’s most restrictive coronavirus reopening tier.
“It’s hard, in my opinion, with this uncertainty of weather being cold we are now back outside,” Nick Vasilas said.
Vasilas is a manager at Zocalo in Midtown. He said the rain and cold will certainly take a bite out of business – and it’s not even winter.
“What do you do? Do you get rained on and be warm, or do you try to stay dry and cold?” Vasilas said.
The rain is keeping some customers away from the wet tables and chairs. For others, the move back outside is not pleasant.
“Not very enjoyable, like our food gets cold very quickly,” a Zocalo customer said.
Patrick Mulvaney, the owner of Mulvaney’s B & L, says the weather paired with the tighter restrictions are making for an emotional storm.
“It’s the purple rain, right. We go back to purple and the rain finally comes to Sacramento,” he explained.
Mulvaney is worried that the tighter restrictions will last into the holiday season, a time that typically brings some of their biggest business.
“I’m mostly afraid of is that a lot of the restaurants that closed this time are not going to come back,” he said.
Wet empty tables and chairs now taking the place of customers-is forcing Café Bernardo to close three days a week and cut some of their staff.
“I’m trying to stay as positive as possible as I can. It’s definitely going to take a hit,” said general manager, Jen Lewis.
Fines could be issued for businesses that repeatedly do not comply. The county has not outlined how many times a business would be warned before receiving a fine.
“We are going to the board of supervisors to be able to fine people, said Sacramento County Health Director, Dr. Peter Beilenson “We found that a minority, a major minority, are completely flaunting the rules.”
County officials admit restaurants are not the problem, even though they are being left in the cold.
“It’s definitely frustrating because we try to do our part,” Lewis said.
It’s a cycle that’s impacting gyms too. People no longer have the option to workout inside even as the weather becomes cooler. With winter looming and cases on the rise, there’s worry about sustainability.
“With the seasons getting colder and cases going up it’s going to be hard times for small businesses especially,” Nathan Dunn said.
“I just kind of adapt to it I guess. I think you know I mean as long as there are heaters and things to keep you warm you know,” Mike Roark said.