Restaurant owners frustrated as counties move back to Purple Tier

May 04 2021 05:30 pm

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Valley restaurants and other businesses are frustrated following the state orders restricting indoor operations once again, following a move back to the Purple Tier.

“Why do you continue to pick on the same small businesses, I don’t get it,” said Manny Perales, owner of Yosemite Falls Cafe and Sports Bar.

Those we spoke with are still working to come up with plans since the move was announced Monday, but they cannot afford to lose their liquor license so they will have to comply.

Perales wants answers.

“Show us the data that these spikes and the coronavirus, all these positive tests are related to us because we’re the ones who keep getting shut down.”

Perales says he was forced to shut down one of his businesses permanently.

“With no revenue, we got so far behind with the bills, we just couldn’t do it anymore so we had to shut down High Sierra on Bullard and West,” he said.

Perales and hundreds of other businesses are part of the Open Central California Safely group.

“That’s our whole point, don’t let us go below 25% of indoor seating for our guess and we’re going to fight that,” Perales said.

In Old Town Clovis, the owner of Salsa’s Cantina and The Local Jesse Mendoza says businesses will have to lay off employees who were just rehired.

“Going to outdoor dining we lose a large portion of revenue which essentially forces us to fire new employees that we just brought on, it’s a double-edged sword for us, it affects every single restaurant,” Mendoza said.

Forced to seat outside during the holidays, he says it’s not a level playing field for different businesses.

“We’re being forced to suffer financially when big boxed stores will reap the benefits,” he said.

Mendoza says lack of compliance could mean financial ruin.

“That’s what makes it hard for restaurants, is you decide to stay open and face the wrath of the ABC for staying open or you shut down and try to stay alive.”

In a statement, the City of Clovis says it is working to let local businesses know about the change.

We are working to communicate this most recent State action to our local business community and will continue to assist our small businesses in any way possible, as they work to navigate through the maze of restrictions in an attempt to stay financially viable.

We will continue to rely on the State and County agencies for enforcement, except in egregious cases where the State and County fail to act.”

Mayor Drew Bessinger, City of Clovis

Perales says the Open Central California Safely group plan to hold a rally on Saturday at 12 noon, in front of the Fresno County Public Health Department.

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