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From Ventura to San Luis Obispo, from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria, KCLU's in-depth, thoughtful coverage of all the news that matter to you.

Central, South Coast Restaurants Try To Cope With New Coronavirus Dining Restrictions

It’s early afternoon, and there are only a couple of customers at the Fusion Grill in Thousand Oaks.  The restaurant’s owners are trying to figure out how the state’s newest shutdown orders will affect their business, a question thousands of eateries in the region are facing.

It means their indoor dine-in tables can’t be used.  The restaurant now has to rely on one on the front sidewalk, and a half dozen on a side patio. 

They stayed open with take-out service during the first months of the crisis, even though they were losing money.  Even when dining rooms were allowed to reopen, business remained below normal.

The continuing surge in new coronavirus cases in California prompted the governor to order new restrictions for restaurants, and other sectors of the economy in 19 of the state’s hardest hit counties, including Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

Bars, brewpubs, and nightclubs had to close.  In Ventura County, wineries had to close.  In Santa Barbara County, indoor tasting rooms had to shut down, but outdoor operations can continue. 

Museums and zoos have to shut down indoor operations, but outdoor operations can continue. The governor says the new limits will remain in place for at least three weeks. 

The new order impacts 19 counties which were on the state’s watch list for not meeting all of guidance statistics for the safe reopening of the economy.  The state’s list includes Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties. 

Ventura County had already announced its beaches, beach parking areas and beach restrooms would be closed for the 4th of July holiday weekend.  On Thursday, Santa Barbara County moved to close its beaches as well, except for swimming, surfing, kayaking, and other water sports.