Pismo's Coastal Grill plans to open May 7 with safety measures, other restaurants waiting for approval

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the debate continues on when to reopen the economy, one Fresno restaurant is planning to reopen as early as May 7th with limited seating and brand new safety measures in place.

Fresno restaurant owner Dave Fansler announced plans to reopen Pismo's Bar and Grill on Facebook, but the way he's doing it will be very different, including minimal seating and online-only reservations.

Other restaurants are hoping for approval from the Fresno County health director.

Mike Shirinian, owner of the Elbow Room, is representing local restaurants on the city's recovery committee.

"We are the number one generator of sales tax revenue and the loss jobs et cetera is gigantic. So we need an exact date. We cannot be fooling around with some vague idea of where it could be going a month or so from now," Shirinian said.

Senator Andreas Borgeas sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to set a timetable and standards for reopening restaurants.

"The reason why I think restaurants are key is because once they go under, they will likely not come back," Borgeas said.

He's pushing for Newsom to include restaurants in his Phase Two of reopening the state, along with adding some language to protect restaurants from COVID-19-related lawsuits.

"We need the governor to issue executive order in coordination with legislation that provides protection for employers and employees in the restaurant industry."

Shirinian said most restaurants are in a wait and see mode, but they're making preparations now for the moment local health officials say it's ok to open.

Business is down 90% at the Elbow Room, and only ten of the restaurants 80 employees are still working.
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