Butte County Restaurants Could be the First to Reopen for Dine-In in California

Food at La Hacienda in Chico

Following an approval from California Governor Gavin Newsom, Butte County residents could be the first in California to resume the dine-in experience in local restaurants, with some modifications and guidelines.

On Tuesday, Butte County’s partial reopening plan gained approval from Newsom after showing low infection rates and sufficient capacity to deal with an outbreak. The plan includes the reopening of low-risk businesses like offices, retail shops and manufactures. Also on that list is restaurants, who will have to meet significant social distancing guidelines, including increased outdoor seating, sanitation and mandatory face coverings. Restaurants are also encouraged to remain at 50 percent capacity.

Bars and wineries will remain closed, according to the guidelines outlined on Tuesday.

Put restaurants near the top of the list of businesses who have shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While most have been able to offer take-out and delivery options, many of the staffing hours and revenues have plummeted during the shelter-in-place mandate. Newsom has put restaurants at the forefront of the reopening plans in an attempt to salvage these businesses.

“You’re already running on low margins to begin with. I’m not naive about any of this. I’m deeply concerned,” Newsom said about restaurants in his press conference on Tuesday.

El Dorado County also received a similar approval from the Governor’s office on Tuesday, which should see similar reopenings in the coming weeks.

See the full guidelines proposed by county health officials for restaurant reopenings here.

Brien O'Brien

As the Food Editor and Co-Founder of Eating NorCal, Brien O'Brien is one of the most influential foodies in NorCal. After being named the "14th Best Home Cook in America" in 2017 by the FOX television show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay, he moved to the Napa Valley where he spent a year and a half studying food and wine at the Culinary Institute of America. Now, he resides in the Farm to Fork Capital of America - Sacramento.

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