Hundreds of SF bars, restaurants start checking for proof of COVID-19 vaccine

A  growing number of bars and restaurants in San Francisco are requiring proof of vaccination.

On Thursday, members of the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance started checking the status at the door as did a restaurant opening for the first time since last March.

 At AsiaSF, there is excitement over its grand re-opening. But there is also uncertainty about the delta variant.

 Customers were greeted by staff at the store asking, "Do you mind showing me your vaccine card and your ID please?"

 Proof of vaccination from customers is now a new requirement to go inside the restaurant Caberet in the South of Market neighborhood.

This is the venue's grand re-opening after a 16-month long shutdown.

 "Now dealing with a mini-surge of the delta variant, it adds a lot of anxiety and stress," says Larry Hashbarger, owner and founder of AsiaSF.

 One performer who also works as a server says she feels safer because the entire staff is vaccinated and customers are required to do the same.

"I love it. We have to protect ourselves. It's our duty as individuals to protect each other," Karmina Perilla said. 

 Customer Hector Escobedo says proof of vaccination wasn't required when he bought his tickets two weeks ago. But he came prepared. He has a QR Code from the state that provides his vaccination information on his phone and he has a mask in his pocket.

 "It is getting tiresome but once we get to the point of getting everybody vaccinated, it'll be great," says Escobedo.

 In the Mission neighborhood, the owner of the 500 Club is requiring customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours.

He is a member of the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance that has officially recommended that bars require proof of vaccination starting July 29.  

 "Frankly, I don't want to get shut down again. I think it's important for everyone to know that we're taking steps," says Ali Razavi, owner of the 500 Club. 

 He is receiving support from one couple who are regular customers.

 "We're both vaccinated. We actually had COVID back in December. Yeah, it just makes me feel better about being inside," says Kirsten Staley who was at the bar with her husband.    

 Back at AsiaSF, the owner says customers who had called to cancel due to Delta variant concerns decided not to when they learned that proof of vaccination is required.

 "It's good for the business, It's good for the community. We think it's a win-win," Hashbarger is advising people to call ahead to check for reservation availability.

One customer tells KTVU he was comfortable coming to the restaurant because it requires proof of vaccination.