APTOS, Calif. (KION) A new pizza place in Aptos is fearing the worst as Santa Cruz County is set to go onto the state's watch list with stricter closures.
While restaurants can still maintain outdoor dining areas, one business owner hopes things will not get worse.
At Mentone, business has been pretty good for a Friday night, all things considered. The restaurant had to shutdown all indoor operations a week and a half before they were set to open their dining room in March.
"Rather than just sitting down and feeling defeated, we ended up switching to take out," said Chris Sullivan, the general manager and part owner of Mentone.
On June 3, Mentone opened up outdoor seating areas as restrictions started to life. It has been doing well ever since.
"Not bad for a parking lot. We wanted to go for a European cafe style, so very casual," said Sullivan.
Bringing the dining experience outside was key for the new restaurant, especially since they have never opened their indoor dining at all. With real plates, cocktail glass and the rest, they are calling the outdoor area "Little Beach."
"It's been popping every day from the time we open to the time we close, it's hard to find a table," said Sullivan.
Mentone was technically allowed a few weeks ago to open for indoor seating, but decided not to for the safety and health of staff and guests.
The owners, however, are fearing worsening COVID-19 case numbers could mean stricter closures for restaurants at some point.
"Reducing us back to take out is a significant hit to revenue and also just experience," said Sullivan. "We're really proud of the product we're doing and a lot of our product doesn't travel very well in a box."
The owners say they have been seeing a lot of out-of-town tourists coming into the area. And while they say it is good for business, they are also concerned about what it could mean for the county and COVID-19.