SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Sonoma County has moved further in Phase 2 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The amended order allows restaurants to offer outdoor dining.

It’s the first weekend of the expanded Phase 2 reopening in Sonoma County.

Restaurants are eager to serve and customers are excited to dine out.

“It was nice. It’s a really nice day, nice weekend,” Rohnert Park resident Allison Malnar said. “It’s not that crowded which is really nice as well.”

Restaurants in Sonoma County are gradually reopening patio space for customers, with regulations in place — social distancing and face coverings.

Allison and Patrick Malnar had lunch at cafe salsa grill in downtown Cotati due to the ample patio space.

“It’s nice to have some kind of normalcy back in the community,” Patrick Malnar said. “It feels good to support a local business like this as well.”

They know things won’t be like it used to for a very long time.

“Our anniversary, one year wedding anniversary was last Tuesday so we kind of been stuck in the house all day she works from home and it was crammed in there,” Patrick Malnar said. “It was nice to get out and be able to go to the parks locally and walk around a little bit.”

Down the road at Cotijas, the owners placed tables and chairs for outdoor seating on Sunday.

“It’s been a little slow honestly with everything going on it has taken a hit,” Karidna Robledo said. “Luckily we have a lot of regulars and people who like to support family restaurants and all that jazz.”

Robledeo’s family owns the place. Like many, they’ve been offering takeout.

Allowing outdoor seating is another step forward to the new normal.

“It’s definitely a learning curve or an adjustment type of thing,” she said. “It’s difficult in the sense where like you know it’s family owned and such a small place.”

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