SSF Launches Outdoor Dining Pilot Program for Downtown Area

South San Francisco, CA  September 8, 2020 press release

City explores creative options to help small and locally owned business amid COVID-19 pandemic


South San Francisco’s Downtown is bustling once again, thanks to a new strategy to help local restaurants. The multi-pronged approach includes permitting outdoor dining, mandating a 15% cap on third-party food delivery services, and providing small business recovery loans. “I’m proud that the City Council has stepped in to support our small downtown businesses,” said Mayor Rich Garbarino. “The outdoor dining, and the financial assistance the City is providing, will throw a lifeline to restaurants that are trying to stay in business.”


Thai Satay at 265 Grand Ave. is open for outdoor dining.
Photo: City of SSF


Some of the Downtown’s most popular restaurants are participating in the program, including: Amoura, Ben Tre, Café 382 / Brews @ 382, DiNapoli, Grand Palace, Hometown Heroes, Izanami, and Thai Satay. They will soon be joined by Antigua, Entrepanes, Hawi Hawaiian BBQ, Nick’s on Grand, and many others.


South San Francisco’s restaurants were hit particularly hard by COVID-19. But in July 2020, the City Council approved a pilot program to promote outdoor dining in the Downtown, with the intent to give local restaurants a way to sustain at least some revenue while Shelter-in-Place regulations prohibit indoor dining. Under the program, Downtown restaurants can apply to the City to set up café tables, for up to 90 days, on the metered parking spaces directly in front of the restaurant. The City is providing free safety barricades for the dining areas, and the restaurants are responsible for everything else.

Ben Tre now offers outdoor dining at the corner of Grand and Maple in downtown SSF {photo Ben Tre}


The City has been working closely with the Chamber of Commerce on this program. The Chamber has secured $35,000 in grant funding from Genentech that will be used to help support and enhance the outdoor dining program.


Ben Tre facing Grand Ave


The City is expanding the program to include personal care businesses (e.g., nail salons, day spas, etc.) due to the State’s new reopening plan that is still limiting some personal care services to only be functional outdoors and/or extreme modifications indoors. The City is also extending the program to an additional 90 days. The City will be installing hanging flower baskets from streetlights, to further the goal of making Downtown as attractive as possible to diners during this difficult time. Finally, the city is taking the experience learned from this pilot program, to see if the program can be extended to other parts of the City.


“I encourage everyone to come out and support our small businesses that are offering these outdoor dining options. While we are nowhere near back to ‘normal’, this is a good start in the right direction” – South San Francisco Mayor Richard Garbarino.

Amoura offers outdoor dining at 713 Linden Ave,
{photo Amoura}


The City’s Outdoor Dining Pilot Program for the Downtown Area succeeds the City’s Small Business Loan Relief Program, which is still active, in writing loans of

$10,000 or $15,000 to small businesses in South San Francisco that can be converted to grants if the small business rehires or retains 1 or 2 low income employees for 90 days during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has distributed

$450,000 to 33 small businesses in South San Francisco through CARES Act monies


In addition, on August 26, 2020, the City Council approved a 15% cap on third- party food delivery services.



There are many other South City eateries that have extended dining outdoors such as Gunters, Las Trancas, Chevy’s, and more! Please do share your favorites with us!


Gunters is now offering outdoor dining as well as food to go.


Chevy’s is offering outdoor dining and food to go

Las Trancas on El Camino Real now offers outdoor dining! AND GREAT margaritas!

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