San Diego Restaurant Requires Proof Of Vaccine For Onsite Dining & Mandates All Employees Receive Vaccination

August 4, 2021

San Diego's 30 year-old Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe has announced a new policy requiring almost all customers show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to being permitted to dine onsite, as well as mandating all employees receive the vaccine.

"With the rise in Covid-19 cases, & the Delta variant moving quickly, Jimmy feels strongly that it is up to him, as a business person, to play whatever part he can in keeping our employees, customers & community safe," reads a post announcing the new policy on Jimmy Carter Mexican Cafe's social media accounts. "As such, we will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining & dining on our small permanent patio in 5th Avenue. Jimmy has also required that ALL employees be vaccinated. Anyone without proof of vaccination may continue to dine on our temporary wood platform patio on Spruce St, as available. This location provides the ability to social distance, as well as the best ventilation. We appreciate that people have strong feelings regarding this issue, and we choose to stand on ours."

In 1991, San Diego native and former print shop owner Jimmy Carter opened his namesake restaurant with a menu of American diner classics, but he eventually rebranded the Bankers Hill eatery to become a Mexican cantina. At one point, Carter had a second location in San Diego's Mission Hills community. Due to rising COVID-19 positives in San Diego and beyond, ownership recently implemented a policy requiring diners to show proof they've received a coronavirus vaccine to dine indoors and on the outdoor patio. Unvaccinated individuals can continue to dine on the restaurant's temporary wooden area, which "allows for distancing and better air flow." Carter is also asking his staff to get the vaccine. 

Last week, Urban Mo's Bar & Grill in San Diego's Hillcrest announced that customers would be asked to provide proof of vaccination in the form of the CDC vaccine card in hand or on the phone to attend any and all indoor shows and events. Yesterday, New York City's mayor also revealed a citywide mandate requiring customers show vaccine proof to enter any restaurant, fitness center or movie theater.  

Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe is located at 3172 Fifth Avenue in San Diego's Bankers Hill. For more information, visit