SAN JOSE (KPIX) — It was a busy Friday night in San Jose where this was the first weekend back in the red tier in Santa Clara and San Francisco counties — meaning movie theaters and indoor dining are open once again.
At Santana Row in San Jose, outdoor dining tables were packed all night but the biggest change was inside. Restaurants were allowed to seat guests at 25 percent capacity.READ MORE: Massive Ash Cloud Turns Tonga Into Moonscape; Anxiety Mounts Among Bay Area Tongans
At Left Bank in Santana Row, it was the first Friday night rush since guests have been welcomed back into the dining room — a space that had been closed for months.
“I’m a little nervous because I feel like people are really excited to come dine with us and do so in a safe manner,” said Left Bank general manager Giovanni Joris.
Outdoor dining was allowed to resume when the stay-home orders were lifted and counties went back to the purple tier. On Wednesday, Santa Clara County moved to the red tier, which allowed for limited indoor dining.
Joris says Left Bank staffed up for the weekend not only to serve the extra guests but also to make sure there are enough employees to keep up with enhanced cleaning measures.
“It’s wonderful, absolutely!” said Jim Fuller, who sat outside at his favorite table with friend Holly Shah.
“We love people watching,” he said.
Jim and Holly are self-proclaimed, people-watching experts.READ MORE: Marin County Hosting Public Meeting on Larkspur Homeless Housing Project
“It’s interesting to watch the masks walk by,” Holly said.
“Sometimes the attire is even more flamboyant because the masks are on,” Jim added.
He said that’s the only reason they’re sitting on the patio.
“I would be fine sitting indoors but then I wouldn’t get to people-watch.”
Others say it’s all just too much, too soon.
“We are leaving. It’s a little too busy out here for us. We don’t feel quite comfortable despite the masks and everything. We see a lot of people are really not sitting six feet apart,” said Herta Schreiner.
In addition to limited indoor dining, AMC and Cinemark movie theaters also reopened in Santa Clara and San Francisco counties on Friday.MORE NEWS: Hundreds of Kaiser Mental Health Clinicians Demand Better Care For People Of Color
The theaters are also limiting the number of patrons, employ enhanced cleaning measures and closed their concession stands to allow guests to keep their masks on the entire time they’re in the theater.