Outdoor dining returns for Valley restaurants after stay-home order is lifted

Outdoor dining returned for many businesses across the Central Valley this weekend, after nearly two months with no seated service.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Outdoor dining returned for many businesses across the Central Valley this weekend, after nearly two months with no seated service.

Staff at downtown Fresno cocktail bar, The Modernist, kept busy as thirsty customers filled their parklets and placed order after order.

"The crowd has been absolutely wonderful. To anyone who did come this weekend, thank you, thank you, thank you," said bar director, Ryan Metcalf.

The regional stay home order was lifted last Monday, with state officials predicting that available ICU capacity would reach 15% in the next four weeks. Each county is now back to the color-coded tier system.

RELATED: CA lifts regional stay at home order

But just as restrictions loosened, a powerful storm hit Central California.

"We were a little bit worried that it was going to rain all weekend, but it showered Friday morning and then just gave us this absolutely beautiful weekend to work with," Metcalf said.

Frank Delgado, community outreach director at Lucy's Lounge, said regulars were thrilled to hear they could return to their favorite spots.

"The very second we found out the stay-at-home order was lifted, our phones were going crazy, and our social media was going crazy," said Delgado.

The pandemic has been devastating for many in the food and beverage industry, and the recovery process will likely be a long one.

RELATED: Ghaly explains changes to California vaccine distribution plan, formula for tier changes

Delgado is now urging people to support their favorite businesses and the staff who work there.

"Please make sure that you show your appreciation with your gratuity. That is so important right now," he said.

For Fresno County to move to the less restrictive red tier, which allows for some indoor dining, positivity rates would have to drop below eight percent, and daily case rates would need to be under seven for two consecutive weeks.

Fresno County currently has about eight ICU beds available.
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