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Welcome to the world of domed dining, San Francisco.
Restaurants across the globe are struggling to adapt to new social distancing regulations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and one such eatery in San Francisco is hoping to allay any customer concerns by simply plopping its hungry clientele inside clear geodesic domes.
Hashiri, a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant located in the city’s SoMa district, began seating customers inside its three outdoor domes as of Wednesday evening, advertising the new idea as a “unique outdoor multi-course dining experience.”
“In these challenging times, we knew everyone still wanted to have a good meal,” Hashiri manager Ken Matsuura told SF Gate of the idea. “We asked ourselves, how can we continue to offer that in these circumstances while keeping everyone safe?”
Matsuura further told the San Francisco Chronicle that he believed the domes make outdoor seating more enjoyable within Mint Plaza, where the restaurant is located, because “sometimes the [plaza’s] crowd is not too favorable.” The Chronicle also noted that members of San Francisco’s homeless population are a common sight in the plaza.
This “favorable” environment, however, appears to come at a price. Hashiri’s outdoor dining domes are reserved for customers who partake in its five-course omakase or kaiseki “dining experiences,” which cost $200 per person and last for hours. (Seatings can be reserved for 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., although a two-hour time limit is being imposed on dome diners in order to give staff time to sanitize the spaces between guests.)
San Franciscans who would rather not eat inside Hashiri’s igloos are also welcome to order one of their takeout bento-style boxes, which range in cost from $30 to $500.