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COVID: San Francisco Nightlife Rebounds as Pandemic Restrictions Ease

SAN FRANCISCO -- With rebounding traffic, diners eating indoors and movies projected on the silver screen at Fort Mason, Friday nights in the city feel a lot different from what they were a year ago.

At China Live on Broadway, San Francisco Restaurant Week is on, with a special fixed menu for a week and 50 percent capacity inside.

"Restaurants are doing what we love which is hospitality for our diners and our guests. It's what we live for -- delivery and to-go is good but we like to see people's smiling faces -- even through the mask," said China Live partner Doug Collister.

At The Vault Garden in the Financial District, employees have been working to get the mushroom risotto and scallops ready after a year of sitting at home.

"It feels amazing. For all of us who have been out of work and told to stay away from people for so long, the energy of another human life brings -- there really aren't words. We've been stoked all week for this. We all drank Red Bull and we are all fired up," said owner Tai Ricci.

If it seems to you that traffic around the Bay Area is maddeningly bad again -- you're not wrong.

On the Bay Bridge, daily tolls are nearly 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Numbers are less robust on the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges.

"People have returned to their cars with a great deal more zeal than they have returned to public transit," said John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

"We're not at normal but we're getting closer to it. We're knocking on the door of normal," he added.

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