Outdoor Dining Back In As Mayor Breed Eases Permit Concerns

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has indicated the city will go easy on restaurants looking to expand their outdoor space without proper permitting as outdoor dining kicks off this weekend.

April Shears is hoping the new, socially-distanced patio she set up in the street in front of her Bayview District restaurant, Cafe Envy, will help business pick back up.

A new socially-distanced outdoor dining set up at a Bayview District restaurant.
Kathy Novak/KCBS Radio

"I’m really optimistic," Shears told KCBS Radio. "I think it's creating a really nice atmosphere people are just ready to get out and about in the community. Everybody misses each other. You know we’re all on Facebook like 'Oh, I miss you,' 'Oh, virtual hug.' I’m just about done with the virtual hugs."

Mayor London Breed said she’s done with virtual everything, too. 

She wants more businesses to reopen safely.

That means it’s okay if they don’t quite have the paperwork to fence off the sidewalk yet.

"If there’s an opportunity to set up in this area and it's not obstructing anything else and we can’t get you a permit in a timely manner then you should feel comfortable moving forward anyway as you go through the process," Breed said.

Mayor London Breed with Cafe Envy owner April Shears.
Kathy Novak/KCBS Radio

As much as people want to enjoy dining out, Breed believes everyone also wants to support restaurants that have been struggling for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"So, we’re not going to come around with our pen and pad, you know, giving you citations over certain things," Breed announced. "We’re going to try to talk to you and work with you through this process."

Meanwhile, gyms, hair salons, and dine-in restaurants could reopen in San Mateo County by next weekend if the county gets permission from the state to do so.