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Santa Maria restaurant owners not surprised about health order to shut down indoor services again

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Restaurants throughout Santa Barbara County are closing its indoor services as part of the California state health advisory.

Karla Arteaga-Flores was enjoying her lunch out on the patio on a beautiful Tuesday. But since the state has ordered all indoor dining to shut down in Santa Barbara County, she’s not sure she’ll be dining outside when temperatures drop.

"Not having the option of going inside to have coffee or just sit down and enjoy each others company in a warm area it’s difficult with COVID and having to do outdoor dining," Arteaga-Flores said.

While short-lived, owner Robert Grimmesey of Moxie Cafe was glad to offer indoor and outdoor services.

"It was a little bit frustrating, you know, indoor dining is closed again. So take out delivery is open," Grimmesey said. "So I think we were expecting it a little bit with the rise in COVID numbers."

Since Grimmesey has already been through this shutdown before, he’s focusing his energy on how to keep his business going.

“You know it’s been great weather so we’re going to make lemonade out of lemons and we have two beautiful patios and, you know, we’re going to roll with it. Hopefully it helps out the COVID numbers and everybody gets healthy.”

With the use of the patio, as well as online services, Grimmesey says he’s confident that his business will be okay.

“We have some extra space outside and we’re going to create another patio space," he said. "We have a patio that we use normally so we’ve had some tables and we’ll just make it a nice outdoor dining space.”

While Karla is grateful to have her meal on the patio, she says she can’t help but feel for business owners who have struggled throughout the year only to be faced with another indoor shutdown.

"It’s very frustrating, especially when I feel like we’re making a lot of well businesses have to dial back in after they’ve already had a hard summer and spring."

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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