CHICO, Calif. - Some relief for bars and restaurants that have been struggling over the past year, they will be able to keep their outdoor dining parklets longer, they will also still be able to offer alcohol drinks to-go.
Places like Duffy’s Tavern in downtown Chico is one of the businesses that has been using a parklet.
Owner, Doug Roberts said this barricade has been critical in helping keep his doors open.
Thursday, Governor Newsom announced that he is expanding outdoor dining parklets and alcohol to-go to help struggling restaurants and bars as the state emerges from the pandemic.
Roberts said it was a long process to get the permit and to set all this up and get it going and he’d like to keep the outdoor space as long as possible.
“It’s been really critical," Roberts said. "It’s made all the difference in the world, had we stuck to the original plan, had we stuck to the 6 foot distancing with the tables inside it would have not had enough capacity to stay open. Having the parklet made the difference between being open and not being open.”
The Downtown Chico Business Association (DCBA) said right now there are no plans to get rid of the parklets anytime soon.
The concrete barriers that have been lent to them but ideally they’d like to figure out a way to build more permanent outdoor structures.
There are around 10 of these in Downtown Chico.
The DCBA said these parklets have been a great asset to these businesses and they are looking into ways they can make them permanent here in downtown.
They said right now they don’t have all the details about what that would look like but the city is in the process of adding a long parklet in front of The Banshee, Naked Lounge and Aonami's on Second Street.
Tres Hombres general manager Javier Franco said the ability to sell their drinks to-go helped them survive when the pandemic first hit.
"It definitely took off at the beginning of the pandemic when we weren't allowed to have anyone and had to be a take-out restaurant that was something that allowed us to continue to operate as a business," Franco said.
Governor Newsom said even though to-go alcohol sales will be able to continue they must be coupled with food purchases.