Just before Christmas, San Francisco restaurants Zuni and Cassava made the unique moves to require their diners to have a COVID-19 booster shot before dining indoors. That seemed like it would be the new trend, and surely more restaurants would follow suit. Instead, restaurants have gone a different direction as the Omicron variant surge has decimated their staffs, as many are closing entirely or going back to outdoor dining only.
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The latest example of the latter is Mission District gastropub Monk’s Kettle, where KGO reports “indoor dining will be eliminated” for an undetermined period going forward. Monk’s Kettle has fully closed its Terra Linda location near San Rafael, and while the SF location is still open, the Monday Instagram post above says “As of yesterday, the Monk’s Kettle SF is outdoor & takeout only. We have closed indoor dining until we are past this surge and it’s safe to do so.”
Last week, Hoodline reported that several Castro bars announced temporary closures, including Moby Dick, the Edge, the Detour, Blackbird, and Italian restaurant Vico Cavone. That report additionally noted that SoMa bars Eagle SF, Powerhouse, and the Oasis have also temporarily shuttered to ride out the Omicron surge, as has Mission District bar Trick Dog.
And Eater SF presented a more complete list of temporary Omicron restaurant closures in SF, a list which includes Octavia, Che Fico, Uma Casa, and nearly a dozen more. Most of these closures are scheduled until around January 10, others have no announced end date.
All of these are voluntary moves, there has been no directive from San Francisco City Hall that anyone needs to close or shut down indoor dining. San Francisco public health officer Dr. Susan Philip told the SF Business Times that "We are letting (the press) know that no additional restrictions are planned now." But even though SF is in one of the wettest winters in recent memory, more of your favorite restaurants may opt not to seat their diners indoors for the immediate future.