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Bars and Indoor Dining Will Reopen in Contra Costa County on July 1

Even booze-only bars can reopen at the end of the month

Restaurant And Bars Reopen After Lockdown In Italy
Contra Costa County will allow bars to reopen — and diners to be seated indoors — as of July 1
Photo by Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Restaurants in Contra Costa County launched outdoor dining on Friday, June 5, and it appears that things went well enough that the county’s ready to expand its reopening. According to county officials, as of July 1, the region will permit bars to reopen and will allow restaurants to seat customers indoors.

Contra Costa Health Services hasn’t made a formal announcement on that newest level of reopening, but in a “road to reopening” graphic released earlier this week (and subsequently noted by ABC 7 and the SF Chronicle), “indoor dining” and “bars (with or without food)” are set to reopen on Wednesday, July 1.

This makes it the first county in the central Bay Area to announce a specific opening date for bars that do not serve food. Bars that serve food were permitted to reopen on the same timeline as the state’s restaurants, but it wasn’t until last week that booze-only spots had a state-level plan for the future: That’s when Mark Ghaly, the secretary of the California Health and Human Services agency, announced that the state’s bars can reopen as of Friday, June 12 if allowed to do so by their respective counties.

Contra Costa is also one of the few Bay Area counties that has a plan to relaunch indoor dining. While Solano, Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Cruz counties have all allowed sit-down dining inside their restaurants, the central Bay Area has stuck with outdoor dining plans for now. San Francisco — which moved its outdoor dining date up from June 15 to June 12 on Tuesday — says that it may allow indoor dining as of July 13. (SF bars get an even vaguer reopening timeline of “mid-August.”) Alameda County has yet to announce any sort of sit-down dining reopening, and remains takeout and delivery-only, for now.

Specific regulations for Contra Costa County’s bars have yet to be released, but it’s likely the regulations will match those for outdoor dining, including a limit of six people per table, all from the same household, with tables placed six feet apart. Bars seem likely to be an even trickier situation, but with July 1 as a target date, it seems like they might have time to figure it out.