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COVID 19: Strong Showing During First Weekend Of San Francisco Indoor Dining

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- It was bustling at many restaurants in San Francisco both outdoors and indoors, for the first time since the fall.

Owners said the strong turnout gave them confidence that the Bay Area was moving in the right direction.

Newly opened Peruvian restaurant Jaranita on Steiner Street in the Marina District says before this weekend, they had to turn some diners away because they were full outdoors.

But this Saturday night, they were able to welcome guests for the first time inside in their space.

"I feel great and I feel like we're going back to normality, like things are going back to normal," said General Manager Kenzeo Mpoyi.

The energy was palpable, according to Executive Chef Javiar Cussato.

"The atmosphere is great, people as I said are loving it, the music, the vibe of the restaurant, the colorful - how it is," he said. "And also what we want to give with the food, which is made with soul."

Under the Red Tier, indoor dining is now allowed at 25% capacity. That means an additional 25 covers for Jaranita.

"It's been gradually you know picking up," Mpoyi said. "The first day wasn't that much because people are still skeptic. But when they see us with the proper guidelines we are taking with making sure that they are safe even though indoors, taking the temperatures at the door, social distancing the tables, so gradually as you can see people are coming."

The current 7-day average of new cases in San Francisco is 56, as of Feb. 26, compared with 170 one month prior.

Ristorante Parma in the Marina says the addition of four tables inside makes a substantial financial difference for the family-owned establishment that has been around for nearly 40 years.

Reflecting on the year since the first shelter-in-place order, owner Angela Elia says it's been a rollercoaster of emotions.

"From sadness to happiness, to being depressed, looking a little bit hopeful, but I'm just tired too, it's very emotional, and draining at times, and worrying," said Elia.

The next Bay Area counties expected to move into the Red Tier as early as this coming week are Alameda and Solano counties.

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