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San Francisco Nightlife Rebounds as Pandemic Restrictions Ease

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With rebounding traffic, diners eating indoors and movies projected on the silver screen at Fort Mason, Friday nights in the city feel a lot different from what they were a year ago. Andria Borba reports. (4-9-21)

Video Transcript

ALLEN MARTIN: S Francisco, it is a bustling Friday night on the road to recovery. The streets, restaurants more alive than ever since last year. KPIX 5's Andria Borba live there now. And Andria, even Bay Area traffic back in full force.

ANDRIA BORBA: Yeah, Allen, if you think back to just about a year ago when you could make it from, you know, San Francisco to Pleasant Hill in about 20 minutes, those days are over. If you've been anywhere on Highway 24, 101 north or south, and especially the Bay Bridge, you know that Friday-- that traffic is back. And guess what? Tonight, Friday night is back as well.


Traffic, diners eating inside, and movies on the silver screen at Fort Mason. Friday night looks a lot different today than a year ago. At China Live, Restaurant Week is on, with a special fixed menu for a week and 50% capacity inside.

DOUG COLLISTER: Restaurants are coming back to life and doing what we love, which is hospitality for our diners and our guests. And it's what we live for, you know? Delivery and to-go is-- is good in that, you know, people get to enjoy our food, but we like to see people's smiling faces, even through the mask, in their eyes.

ALLEN MARTIN: At the Vault Garden in the Financial District, employees have been working to get the mushroom risotto and scallops ready after a year of sitting at home.

TAI RICCI: It feels amazing. I mean, for all of us that have been out of work and told to stay away from people for so long, the energy that another human life brings is-- there are really aren't words. Like, we were stoked all week for this. We all drank Red Bull, and we're all fired up.


ALLEN MARTIN: If you've noticed traffic around the Bay Area's hair pullingly bad again, you are not wrong. On the Bay Bridge, daily tolls are nearly 90% of what they were pre-pandemic, though less robust on the San Mateo and Dunbarton bridges.

JOHN GOODWIN: People have returned to their cars with a great deal more zeal than they have returned to public transit.

ALLEN MARTIN: With loosening restrictions and sliding tiers--

JOHN GOODWIN: We're not that normal, but we're getting close. We're knocking on the door of normal.

ALLEN MARTIN: Now, Allen, I don't know if you can hear the music blasting behind me, the very loud conversations happening. But people have come out in force as vaccinations have increased and restrictions have decreased. Of course, San Francisco County now sitting in the orange tier as is much of the Bay Area, with more things open and more people milling about than we've seen in quite some time.