San Mateo - Ringing in New Year's Eve at home gave people a reason to splurge on pricier alcohol and bigger takeout orders.
On Thursday evening at Amici's East Coast Pizzeria in San Mateo, the phones rang nonstop with calls for takeout orders.
"Business tonight compared to prior New Years Eves is actually much busier," Peter Cooperstein, president and co-founder of Amici's East Coast Pizzerias, noting that takeout business is bigger across the company's eleven pizza locations across the Bay Area.
Celebrations are smaller this New Year's Eve, with people following California's stay-at-home orders. Yet the food orders are larger, Cooperstein said.
"Compared to pre-COVID, our average order size has increased too. People want to buy enough for lunch and dinner," he said.
In Millbrae, at Pape Meat Company, other families are preparing home cooked meals for New Year's Eve. And plenty more are heading to Bacchus Wine and Spirits, located inside the meat shop.
"People are still looking for something special at the end of the day," said Quinton Jay, proprietor at Bacchus Wine and Spirits, who added that sales of champagne were down some 25 percent compared to years past. Yet bourbon, scotch, and whiskey sales are up, he said.
"I don't think people are buying cheaper per se, if anything they're buying a little more expensive," Jay said. "They just know they're not going out, you know, so they're willing to stretch a little bit, or spend a little nicer."
And once back at home and the drinks are poured, virtual concerts are 2020's take on live events.
Opera San José's free streaming production, "The Parting Glass," includes built-in moments for viewers to raisea glass and take a sip when they hear the cue, "champagne."
"It's our gift to the public as we say goodbye and good riddance to 2020," Nathan Stark, the creator and curator of the pub-style production for Opera San José, said at the beginning of the streaming event.