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After two-month shutdown, dine-in service returns to downtown Santa Barbara

Dine-in returns State St
Oliver Forster/KEYT
Several people returned to eat at physically-distanced tables at Night Lizard Brewing Company on Thursday.
Safely open sign
Oliver Forster/KEYT
This sign will appear in the windows of businesses approved by the County for further reopening.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - People in Santa Barbara began returning to dine-in restaurants Thursday.

One of the first establishments to reopen their tables was Night Lizard Brewing Company on State Street. The brewery applied for a food license during the lockdown to be able to offer take-out.

Now there are tables and seats available inside and outside. Customers are required to wear masks inside, and all tables are spaced six feet apart.

Owner John Nasser says the brewery was prepared for when restrictions were relaxed.

"We went through the checklist," he said. "We created our own checklist--that was required... We're clean and sterilized and ready to go."

Nasser admits that the company hasn't been paying rent recently. He's happy to see people coming in. Thursday evening, most of Night Lizard's available tables were taken.

“The people have such pent up desire to get out and do stuff,” Nasser said. “And it’s like, I think it’s therapeutic for be sitting some place, you know, talking. And enjoying themselves, other than in their living room… So that’s nice for us to be that first place they went out to.”

With County approval, more restaurants can begin to open dine-in service as early as Friday.

Coronavirus / Health / Santa Barbara- S County

Ryan Fish

Ryan Fish is a reporter, sports anchor and forecaster at KEYT|KCOY|KKFX.

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