Restaurants Hit Hard By Smoke As Diners Avoid Outdoor Spaces

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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Orange and smoke-filled skies Wednesday are impacting restaurants already struggling to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In downtown Walnut Creek, it was tough to tell what time it was. Gloomy skies, streetlights on and empty streets made it seem more like early morning than lunchtime on the city’s usually lively Main Street.

“It’s actually been pretty strange, you know. I woke up and I was kinda confused about if it was night or day. I was like what is it still Tuesday or Wednesday?” said Saul Quintero, manager of the restaurant Katy’s Kreek.

“They wanted to eat here but it was just too smoky and the weather’s bad,” he said of diners who came for takeout. “If DoorDash were to go or not really function, then we’re just dead.”

The hazy orange sky could linger for several days. The sudden slowdown in business could be a sign of what is to come for the rest of the year between fire season and then low winter temperatures, unless indoor service is permitted.