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Santa Barbara County restaurants reopen under Stage 2 guidelines; here’s what customers can expect

Vino Et Amicis
Kurk HixenBaugh

ORCUTT, Calif. - Santa Barbara County restaurants are reopening under California's Stage 2 guidelines.

Here's what customers can expect...

Cool Hand Luke's Restaurant in Santa Maria will be open for public seating on Monday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. for the first time since the pandemic hit. They say the ordeal has been devastating.

“It's been really really tough,” said Cool Hand Luke's Restaurant owner Shawn Van Pelt. “It's going to be a learning curve for everyone, we are all going to have to be really patient, it's all new procedures for everyone."

Van Pelt says to expect longer wait times, and a bit more planning.

Vino Et Amicis wine bar owner Kurk HixenBaugh is opening their doors in Orcutt Friday night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. He too is struggling to make it all work.

“They say you have to buy food in order to drink wine, well I don't see why it matters what it is you're consuming while you're here. You're still here,” said HixenBaugh.

This requirement means that wine bars and breweries must serve full meals to customers to reopen. Vino Et Amicis will be teaming up with a food truck company to comply.

“We have a food truck here so it's not going to be like you can just come in on our normal hours and get a class of wine,” said HixenBaugh.

“I don’t necessarily agree with the rule, I believe the idea behind it is that, while at a restaurant when there is food at a table, people are less likely to come up and interact,” said Santa Barbara County 4th District Supervisor-Elect and Chief of Staff Bob Nelson.

Expect restaurants that are open to be emptier. Those businesses have to operate at only 50% capacity.

“We are not going to be able to make what we would normally make on a Friday night,” said HixenBaugh.

“Each business is different, hopefully as we progress in the next coming weeks, we will see less and less cases of COVID-19,” said Nelson.

Cool Hand Luke's is taking the added steps of not letting customers wait in the lobby to adhere to physical distancing.

“When you get here, call us and let us know. But you can still come in, check in, but everyone will wait in their car outside,” said Van Pelt.

Both businesses say they are grateful for being able to reopen for seating, and though they can only serve at 50% capacity, they are making the best of it and hope to see you there.

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business

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Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Naja, click here.


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