SACRAMENTO, Calif. – San Diego, Sacramento, and Ventura counties were the latest to advance deeper into Phase 2, allowing restaurants to reopen dining rooms and patios for dine-in service.

What You Need To Know

  • Sacramento restaurants welcoming back dine-in customers

  • Allowing tables on sidewalks and in parking lots

  • Transitioning from regular menus to digital ones

  • Will not allow parties larger than 8 people

On Friday, several Sacramento County restaurants welcomed customers back for the first time since Governor Gavin Newsom issued the stay-at-home order. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he would lead by example by going out to support a local restaurant that reopened with restrictions.

“I’m going to try to lead the way,” Mayor Steinberg said. “I will go out to eat – I’ll eat al fresco.”

Ryan Rose, President of Zocalo, a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Sacramento, prepared to reopen indoor and outdoor dining on Monday.

“Even though we are losing tables inside, we’re gaining them back out here and that’s going to be running for 3 months, which is great,” Rose said.

The City of Sacramento is allowing restaurants to place tables on the sidewalks, parking lots, and parts of the street.

For Rose, this will allow him to add 15-20 additional tables outside. Before the pandemic, Rose said Zocalo served about 1,000 people. Rose knows it will be a while before they see that many customers again, but for now, he says he’s happy to be back.

“With the extension of the patio through the streets, it’s going to make a great ambience,” said Rose.

During the first couple of days of reopening, Rose says they will only be seating people outside. Other changes include transitioning from regular menus to digital ones. The banquet room will stay closed for now, and they won’t host parties larger than eight people.

“It totally feels like the grand opening of a restaurant,” Rose said. “You’re just putting all the small details together, making sure that you thought through every process. At the end of the day, you can only plan so much and once we start to see how things look, we’ll be able to adapt.”

Francisco Medina, manager at Mayahuel restaurant, reopened for indoor and outdoor dining on Friday.

“I want to make them feel safe here,” said Medina, as he took out a box of disposable menus.

In order to keep everyone safe, Medina explained he can only have 20 people dining in at once, which is 90 percent less than normal capacity.

“We cannot open up our bar still. I mean, we’re going to serve alcohol for the people who are sitting and dining here or in the patio, but the bar’s not open yet,” said Medina.

As for Mayor Steinberg, he is encouraging those who choose to dine out to take extra precautions.

“I will wear my mask and take it off when I’m eating. I will do the things that seem unorthodox or even uncomfortable, but I’ll take that extra step,” Steinberg said.