San Francisco restaurants see glimmer of hope as air quality begins to improve

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – In addition to the pandemic, air quality across the Bay Area put a damper on business, especially for restaurants.

In San Francisco, many restaurants closed their outdoor seating and switched to take out or delivery only while air quality was unhealthy.

However, businesses were given a glimmer of hope today as conditions slightly improved.

For the first time in a while, we finally moved into better air quality tonight, however, for the majority of the day we were still at that moderate level but for restaurants it was like a breath of fresh air.

Today, more people were seen enjoying meals outside and taking advantage of less smoky skies.

It’s something businesses say they desperately need after getting hit with yet another hurdle to bring in business.

“Past few days have just been really smoky. I’ve tried to avoid going outside as much as I can, and I usually love to spend most of the time outside because of COVID that’s kind of the one place I feel most comfortable,” Maddy Wigg said.

For Maddy Wigg and her friend Mackenzie Binger, Tuesday was the first day they enjoyed drinks and a meal outside in San Francisco in a couple weeks.

“There’s been ash raining from the sky. You had to shake your hair out when you got back inside. I had coworkers who can’t let their kids out at all,” Binger said.

Smoky conditions kept most people inside and away from outdoor dining over the last week or so.

Like many other restaurants on the block, owner of Macondray on Polk Street says they closed their patio for several days because of the conditions.

“We did a third of what we were doing for sales last week, which is disheartening because we were only doing half of sales before this all happening,” Jacob Roberts said.

Over at Monk’s Kettle in the Mission District, it’s a similar story.

“Been glad that people are able to come outside and then when you take that away then you don’t really have very much at all. we’re just hanging on right now with what we’ve got,” Christian Albertson said.

While smoke clouded business last week, co-owner Christian Albertson says he’s hopeful as air quality’s expected to improve over the next couple of days.

“People are out. We have a couple of reservations for tonight so it’s looking a lot better so yeah it’s been a much better day in all ways,” Albertson said.

Well we’re not quite out of the woods yet but for everyone’s sake we hope the air quality continues to improve and stays healthy.

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