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The Open-Door Policy: Restaurants Need to Warm Up

I said it couple years back in a blog, but I'm going to say it again: Restaurants in this town are too f-ing cold! I am reminded of this when I'm eating dinner with my scarf on (as I was just doing a few minutes back).

In fact, quite often I find myself eating with my coat on too. Especially when the door of a restaurant is open, which it often is. For example, I was at Contigo the other night and the door to the back patio was propped open, leaving those inside—without even the patio's space heaters over them—shivering in their seats. And I just exited a lunch at Tropisueño where the front door was open for the duration of the meal.

These aren't the only guilty restaurants. The pervading mentality in SF seems to be if your door is open, you’re open for business. The logic proceeds: If then the door is closed, your restaurant is closed too. This open door policy might be a good thing for potential walk-ins (and servers, who are hot from running around). But it’s not so nice for diners. Especially girls that like to wear strappy anything. Let’s just say it’s hard to look hot on a date if you’re shivering in your coat. In fact, it's really just hard relax into anything at all.

This whole concept seems to be unique to California. In New York, I find myself stripping down the minute I walk in the door, rather than bundling up. It's as if San Franciscans can't admit that it's ever gets truly cold here. Despite being nowhere near the likes of LA, we still live with a Sunshine State mentality. And it's not just the winter: As we all know, SF is more than nippy year-round. So, restaurateurs, crank up the thermostat, or at least shut the door, and witness a whole new—much more content—diner. Tips will accompany; the Yelpers might not know why exactly, but they'll remember the experience all the more fondly; and I'll be able to retire this rant.

Thank you for listening.