SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – The energy was palpable on the streets of North Beach Friday evening as diners came out for their first meal at a San Francisco restaurant in months.
Metered parking spots turned into outdoor dining space at Ideale Restaurant, where some diners had dinner sandwiched between cars.
“I mean you’re a little close to the cars coming by, but if the food is good enough you’re not really paying attention to where you’re sitting I feel like,” said Caitlin Chisholm of San Francisco.
Michael Benson was a fan of the creative setup.
“It kind of feels like you’re in Europe a little bit, so it’s nice to bring that hospitality over here and enjoy that,” said Benson.
Under the city’s Shared Spaces program, restaurants can apply for permits to use public spaces including sidewalks, parking spots, or parks to help bring back customers.
“Relative to the last three months, it’s going great, we’re really happy with the opportunity to be able to just serve people again,” said Teague Kernan, owner of Tupelo.
Parties are limited to six people and customers must wear face coverings anytime they leave the table.
Restaurants must comply with strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
Mat Schuster owns Canela Bistro and Wine Bar on Market Street in the Castro.
“We don’t want to clog the sidewalk, we want to be mindful, we’re in a neighborhood, we live around the corner so I know a lot of the people here, so we don’t want to be bad neighbors,” said Schuster.
George Krammer lives across the street from Canela.
“It’s amazing to be able to support local small businesses again,” he said.
Mayor London Breed acknowledged the red tape owners have to cut through to re-open.MORE NEWS: Marin County Reports Zero COVID-19 Patients In Hospital For First Time In 13 Months
“We’re here to help you, we want you to succeed,” said Breed. “So we’re not going to come around with our pen and pad giving you citations over certain things. We’re going to talk to you and work with you through this process.”