WALNUT CREEK (KPIX) – Many restaurant owners told KPIX outdoor dining is the only reason they are still in business. The owner of Lokanta, Fevzi Dinc, a popular Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek, said take-out and delivery alone will not be financially sustainable after the latest stay-at-home order goes into effect.
“I checked the numbers. It doesn’t make sense to open,” Dinc said.
He said take-out orders only amount to about 10 percent of his business. Dinc considered whether to close for a month while the stay-at-home order is in effect.
“We try to survive, that’s all we can do right now. We have to follow the rules,” Dinc said.
Many business owners were caught off guard by the timing. The restrictions go into effect in Contra Costa County on Sunday night.
“I don’t know of one person that has gotten covid from a hair salon so, to me, it does seem unfair,” said Ashley Flowers, who manages Insignia Hair Salon in Walnut Creek.
Flowers worried about the workers who won’t have a paycheck during the holidays.
“We have people that work here that are single moms and have four kids. Unemployment (benefits) won’t cut it,” Flowers said.
In Pleasant Hill, health inspectors have already ticketed Diablo CrossFit three times for operating indoors. Owner Craig Howard said he will continue to defy the health order.
“Our plan is to keep operating safe and keeping our members safe and, when the fines come, I’ll make a decision after each one whether we should stay open or not,” Howard said.
People who were shopping and dining in Walnut Creek Friday night had mixed feelings about the new restrictions. Some believed they’re too aggressive, others said they will save lives.
“We may lose one holiday season but we guarantee so many more holiday seasons to come,” said Audrey Ellison, a Walnut Creek resident.