San Franciscans enjoy return to movies and museums, but hesitant to dine indoors
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco residents enjoyed the city's first weekend in the red tier, with museums, movie theaters, and indoor dining returning.
The works of Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, and Alexander Calder were a sight for sore, Zoom-fatigued, eyes as the de Young Museum came back open at 25 percent capacity on Saturday.
"Well you can't see the smiles, but you can see it in the eyes," Mark Mencarelli, who visited the de Young on Sunday, said, noting that he was pleased everyone wore masks and did their best to social distance inside the museum.
People lined up outside the Museum of Modern Art when it reopened Saturday, excited to see the new floor-to-ceiling murals on display.
But over in the West Portal neighborhood, where the historic CineArts Empire Theater is now permanently shuttered, dining indoors again took some customers by surprise.
"When we first sat down, it was something we talked about, like 'are you sure we want to sit inside?'" Katherine Mendez, who grew up in the West Portal neighborhood, said when she dined Sunday at Franco's Latin Table.
"As long as we're taking the same precautions as you would anywhere else, I think that's totally fine," Mendez said.
Others are opting to wait for an outdoor table to come available, restaurant owner, Mauricio Franco said, noting that people are nervous to eat indoors.
"After, you know, most of the vaccines are out, probably we will see a difference for people sitting inside, but right now I think people are still thinking about it," Franco said.
The return of limited indoor seating is a lifeline for the neighboring pub, McCarthy's Irish Bar, which has been struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.
"It brings in a good extra 20 percent, which is huge," Eileen McCarthy, the owner, said. "Some days are good, some days are not so good."
AMC and Century Cinema movie theaters reopened over the weekend too. Maribel and Engelbert Holder, both fully vaccinated, took their children to see 'Raya and the Last Dragon' in theaters on Sunday, their first movie theater outing in over a year,
"There's sectioned seating, so they'll seat you in a row, and then they won't seat anyone beside you, behind you, or in front of you," Maribel Holder said.
"We have a great screen and everything at home," her husband Engelbert Holder said. "It's nothing like the big screen."