Gabriela Reynoso works behind the counter at Cava 22, on 22nd Street.

Gabriela Reynoso juggles restaurant jobs — before, at The Grove, and these days at Gracias Madre on Mission Street, and at Cava 22, where we meet on Tuesday. When I walk in, she’s having a slow morning. But of course, right as she tells me this, customers start arriving. 

“Sometimes I’m running like crazy, like a chicken without a head,” Reynoso said. She likes her jobs, and even though it’s not as easy as when she was 20, she’s not complaining. 

She’s just happy to be back at work at all, after spending much of the pandemic unemployed and then catching Covid-19 in February, once she finally went back to work. 

“It was awful,” Reynoso said. “I live with my brother and my sister, so they got sick, too. So we all got sick almost at the same time.” She was out of work for another month. 

Even while describing such a difficult period in her life, Reynoso seems to be smiling under her mask. 

She said that Cava 22, which just reopened after renovations and an expansion into the space next door, looks better and serves better food these days. She’s looking forward to the return of live entertainment, like mariachi Fridays and karaoke.

Eleni Balakrishnan

Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim over eight years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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