Restaurant and bar owners react to state’s closure order: ‘Are we going to make it?’

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of all bars and indoor dining in 19 counties, including Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Merced.

However, outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery is still permitted.

“You know, some days it’s like, gosh, are we gonna make it? Are we gonna make it through this you know how many more months, can we last?” said Greg Wilson, the owner of The Craft House in Clovis.

A month ago, he opened his dining rooms with limited seating and new safety protocols. But now the tables will be empty again. With no outdoor seating, they will rely on takeout and delivery.

“When you’re eliminating all the inside seats, you just don’t need the staff to handle them,” said Wilson. 

He said the financial hit is worth it if it keeps everyone safe. Greg himself is at high risk if he catches COVID-19.

“I’ve had a lung disorder since 2004 so you know it’s always in the back of my mind, the what if,” said Wilson.

At Kocky’s Bar & Grill in Downtown Fresno, customers enjoyed a final drink Wednesday. With much of the business coming from liquor sales and live music events on the weekend, owner James O’Donnell said they will close down for the next three weeks or until Newsom lifts the order.

“I think one of our biggest challenges is the lack of clarity. I don’t know what to tell my employees, if this is actually going to go on three weeks and what our plan is to reopen. I have to guide them through the unemployment process so there’s a lot of questions,” said O’Donnell.

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