Dine-in option no longer “on-the-table” for local restaurants


EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM)-Restaurants have till the end of Thursday to offer dine-in eating, on Friday that option will no longer be available.

Owner of Luzmila’s Mexican Restaurant says, they were finally getting back to a new normal.

“We were coming-up above water now with this, we’re going down again,” said Luzmila Garcia.

Garcia says, Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement was followed by an email from the County Health Department.

“Yeah, they are letting us, you know, like patio, I mean you can sit people out but Humboldt County is cold. Lunch it might work.”

But for dinner, she says, it’s just too cold for outdoor seating.

 Humboldt County will shift dine-in operations outdoors or return to serving customers by pickup, delivery or carryout only during the implementation period.

Kip Bottomley says, it’s a blow to restaurateurs.

“I understand the concern and the need to, you know to make a safe environment for people but it’s really difficult in these times to provide safety one day then have services, then shut it all off the next day,” said Bottomley.

Hazel Smith says she’s good as long as there is still a take-out option.

“Closing down the dine-in restaurants, I’m OK with that,” Smith said, “I would much rather be cautious.”

Not being able to dine-in will be a challenge for tourists like the Douglas family who traveled from Utah, who stopped in eureka for some rest and a bite to eat. 

“We are a little bit nervous about having to pick-up a cooler, buy food, pack in our dinners and our lunches,” she said.

Her family will no longer have a dine-in option during their road trip to the North Coast State Parks.  

Garcia says, she will abide by the county rules and will have to rely on her loyal customers to keep her afloat, as does the manager of Philly Cheese Steak Shoppe, Joey Vaeena.

“It will impact us a little bit but we have a really strong clientele, loyal based customer, so that’s what keeps us going,” Vaeena said.

According to Humboldt County Officials restaurants will be contacted again when the state allows that sector to reopen for dine-in service.

For more information related to county-specific restrictions click here.

To learn more about the state’s reopening plan, click here.