Optimism spreads among downtown Fresno's restaurants, entertainment venues

California will drop pandemic regulations and allow businesses to fully reopen on June 15.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The dining room at Lily's Cafe in downtown Fresno may be empty, but waiter Jose Ramirez says it's full of optimism.

"It feels good to know that there is some point where we can expect things to really pick up for us," he says.

Ramirez is counting down the days to June 15th.

That's when the state will drop pandemic regulations and allow businesses to fully reopen.

RELATED: California to remove all capacity limits, physical distancing requirements starting June 15

Soon Lily's Cafe will be able to seat more customers.

Lunchtime is critical for them and being able to seat to capacity has been limiting.

"A lot of them don't want to take their food back to work and they want somewhere to take a break for their lunch hour," says Ramirez.

For the first time, Full Circle Brewing will be able to give more customers access to their tap room.

They recently moved into the Brewery District and have yet to use their indoor stage.

"That live music piece is something that everybody has felt has been missing so I think bringing that back will be really huge for us," says Marketing Manager Adam Band.

The return of live performances means entertainment venues can finally turn on the lights.

Fulton 55 has been closed since the pandemic hit.

General Manager Tony Martin is now planning for the grand reopening.

"I'm glad science is leading the way and allowing us to be at this stage, because it has been a long haul," he says.

Martin has taken advantage of the time off, making various improvements to the venue.

But what he's most excited about is hearing the music once again.

"We have got a lot of local bands in the first month and a half, two months before we start bringing a lot of the touring acts in," he says.

Fulton 55 has scheduled their first performance for June 18th. They're also planning to keep some of the pandemic procedures in place like hand sanitation stations throughout the building.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.