SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Governor Gavin Newsom visited the Bay Area Thursday to talk about relief for restaurants and bars.
The governor said the use of outdoor dining parklets, which helped restaurants and bars survive the pandemic, will continue even after the state’s June 15 reopening date.
In addition, to-go alcohol and cocktails will resume.
“California’s restaurants help create the vibrant and diverse communities that make California the envy of the world. As the state turns to post-pandemic life, we’ll continue to adapt best practices that have helped businesses transform customer experience for the better,” Newsom said while visiting Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco.
Standing next to each other, Gov. Newsom and Mayor London Breed said they want to continue to the “amazing” program and resource to make sure restaurants aren’t left in the gutter.
“A lot of this has helped many of the restaurants in this city survive,” Mayor Breed said.
Newsom said many California mayors contacted him about extending the use of parklets.
“As we reopen the economy fully, and move to that final state on June 15, we don’t wanna go back to normal,” Gov. Newsom said. “Normal was never good enough.”
State and city officials said the success of parklets didn’t only save restaurants and bars throughout the pandemic and kept people employed, but they revitalized and enlivened neighborhoods throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
“We want to keep that going,” Newsom said.
The governor talked about how difficult it was to get the parklets approved years ago. But now that they’ve become essential throughout the pandemic, they can continue to help businesses recover and create more opportunities in the future.
When asked if parklets will be permanent in the City of San Francisco, Mayor Breed had a confident response.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re here to stay,” she said.
“This is the one bright light we’ve had throughout the pandemic,” Breed said. “You see people, you see families, you see smiles, you see faces. people are out enjoying San Francisco.”