Day one of San Francisco shelter-in-place an eerie sight, says visitors

Day one of San Francisco's shelter-in-place order fell on St. Patrick's Day.

It's a holiday that marks the busiest day of the year for the historic Buena Vista Cafe in the Fisherman's Wharf area.

But not now as the business complies with the new restrictions limiting the cafe to take-out orders only.

Buena Vista offered its signature Irish coffee on a to-go basis. 

"We figured on our way home, we live two blocks away. We might as well grab an Irish coffee on St. Patrick's Day," said Eric Rogers who lives nearby. 

The Irish stew is on the cafe's limited menu.

Locals and visitors came here in search of a sense of normalcy.

The Ragsdale family from Orlando, Florida arrived in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon.

They found Alcatraz closed and few people in this normally busy Fisherman's Wharf area.

"It's a little eerie. It's a good way to put it. No backup on Lombard Street. Able to drive right down there," said Matt Ragsdale who's visiting the city with his wife and three daughters.

At City Hall, Mayor London Breed gave an update on life in a shelter-in-place city, "This is day one and we have three weeks to go, maybe even longer."

She said the public is better off on day one than before, but urges the public to be patient in this evolving public health crisis that has no definite end in sight.

"This is about saving lives. This is why we have to take such drastic measures," said Breed. "This is going to require a lot out of all of us." 

Back in the Wharf area, one couple bought Irish coffees, hoping that a familiar place will help restore some order in what is now an uncertain future.

Both said they just got laid off.   

"We're trying to figure our next move. Do we stay here in the city even though we don't have work or do we go seek out family," said Brittany Lieser-Melton who worked as a server.

"If we knew it was for a few weeks,we would stay. We have no idea, It could go on for months," said Meaghan Melton who works as a dog walker.  

Just down the street from Buena Vista Cafe on Beach Street is Ghirardelli Square, a popular tourist spot. 

But on Tuesday night, the area was empty of people.

They said the hardest part is not knowing what's ahead and when the COVID-19 crisis will end.