Indoor dining, stimulus money to aid Bay Area restaurant revival

Restaurants could soon see some financial relief in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that just passed through the Senate. It includes $28.6 billion designated specifically for small restaurants and bars.

Video Transcript

- It wasn't the busiest of nights at Farmers Union in San Pedro Square, but compared to a month ago--

- Where we stand now, I think we're doing great.

- Assistant General Manager Jeffrey Worrell says, most customers are still cautious to come inside.

JEFFREY WORRELL: They will. Once they feel more comfortable, as more people get vaccinated, business will thrive.

- Though this group came specifically to dine indoors.

- It feels comforting.

- I just wanted to come inside. It's cold outside.

- Not everyone has jumped at the chance to bring people back inside.

DAVID MULVEHILL: I'll probably do that next week. So I just want to take our time, make sure people feel comfortable, first, and make sure the staff feels comfortable.

- David Mulvehill runs O'Flaherty's Pub. He says, they're also waiting to see what happens with the stimulus bill in Congress, which would allow restaurants to access loans, again, from the Payment Protection Plan to help pay employees.

- I haven't seen the full details of it yet, but obviously, we're happy. It seems like a step in the right direction for restaurants and bars.

- PPP wouldn't have been enough to help Umberto Bala, who said, he had to sell his brewery in Cambell, last year, which was unable to reopen due to COVID restrictions.

UMBERTO BALA: My heart. I also hurt my pocket. Mostly, my heart, but losing your baby is tough.

- He still runs Vin Santo restaurant in Willow Glen. Just happy it stayed afloat.

- You know, being a restaurant owner, you're never going to get rich to own a restaurant. But it's a lifestyle.

- While PPP money would be nice, he says, he jokes, there's one thing it won't pay for.

- The weather to get better, so we can stop using the heater. Because propane is very expensive.

- In San Jose, Matt Boone, ABC 7 News.