Ciao Bella! We welcome you back to Our Little Italy, Your Famiglia. Earlier this month we kicked-off our reopening campaign “Ciao Bella!” which included in-house restaurant dining, in-store shopping, special merchandise to support local businesses, Al Fresco street-side dining, plus an upcoming social media “Air Kiss Challenge” giveaway. The expression “Ciao Bella” means “Hello Beautiful” and references our neighborhood. As people start to return and revisit our businesses and neighborhood, the expression is a sigh of happiness and relief for our community.
Your favorite restaurants and retailers have slowly begun to resume business with the proper safety guidelines in place. We kicked off this campaign with a night of Al Fresco dining this past Saturday with another happening this Saturday, June 20th from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. on India Street from W. Beech to W. Grape Streets and W. Date & W. Fir Streets between Kettner Boulevard & Columbia Street. Over 20 different restaurants participated in the first weekend of Al Fresco dining with a few more expected to be participating this weekend.
During the Al Fresco dining, these streets close down to all vehicles as the sidewalks and part of India Street are transformed into expanded open-air dining, creating a safe 30-foot physical distancing promenade to help restaurants alleviate the loss of indoor seating and provide visitors a large space in the center of the street to maintain physical distancing and wait for their reservations. To ensure public safety, hand sanitization stations were placed throughout the Al Fresco footprint and physical distancing and facial covering protocols were being reinforced. All interested diners were highly encouraged to wear face masks and recommended to make reservations at their restaurant of choice in advance.
Can’t make it to Al Fresco dining? As part of this reopening campaign, we welcome you to join in on our social media “Air Kiss Challenge” starting Tuesday, June 23rd. Paying homage to the traditional Italian *kiss, kiss* greeting, we celebrate this greeting with an Air Kiss instead as we maintain physical distancing.
Post a picture of you, your family and friends giving an air kiss with the hashtags #CiaoBellaSD and #AirKiss, then tag a Little Italy business you can’t wait to visit again and nominate one of your friends to post an air kiss and join the challenge. Individuals who enter have the chance to win prizes on a weekly basis including local business and restaurant gift cards and special promotions.
To help support our beautiful community, Ciao Bella! t-shirts are available for purchase with the campaign tagline, “They are. We are. I AM LITTLE ITALY.” All proceeds will go to supporting the Little Italy business crisis fund and the direct business where the shirt was purchased. We are asking the community and businesses to wear the t-shirt in solidarity as we enter this new stage as a famiglia.
We look forward to seeing you in Little Italy soon. To learn more about our latest reopening plans, visit CiaoBellaSD.com. Follow us on Instagram @LittleItalySD, Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook @LittleItalySD.