Local restaurants are being hit especially hard right now by the California governor’s new stay-at-home order and the pandemic as a whole.
A special Paso Robles City Council meeting is slated for 6:30 Thursday night to discuss how the stay-at-home order should be handled in the city.
Business owners, employees, and community members are encouraged to call in.
“This year has probably been the hardest year of my life in any industry,” said Carole MacDonal, who owns La Cosecha Bar and Restaurant and Il Cortile Ristorante with her husband.
MacDonal says the constant change over the past 9 months is difficult.
“It's a little bit more challenging now because there's no government assistance and we're not quite sure what the next step is,” MacDonal said.
Under the governor’s new stay-at-home order, guidelines are that restaurants do delivery and take-out only.
MacDonal has transitioned to to-go only for La Cosecha and Il Cortile.
But some downtown businesses are keeping their doors open with indoor and outdoor dining to make ends meet. The city says some restaurants have said that complying will devastate their business.
The special meeting will discuss creative ideas for businesses to stay afloat.
“That’s all we can do is try to come up with some constructive ways that balance safety concerns, health concerns with the vitality of our local businesses which are really suffering,” said Paul Sloan, City of Paso Robles Economic Development Director.
Sloan adds that one possible option is allowing take-out dining in parklets.
“What is decided tonight will certainly be done in what hopefully is in the best interest for everyone concerned,” Sloan said.
Another key component to be discussed during the meeting will be enforcement.
“I just hope that tonight is a consensus one way or the other. This is the way it should be done in this particular city,” MacDonal concluded.
The ultimate goal, the city says, is to help get through this unexpected time.
If you’d like to provide public comment during Thursday’s meeting, you can call 805-865-7276.
The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube.