Coronavirus impact: Some local businesses carry on while others go dark

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Less than 24 hours after Governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines for bars and restaurants, many Kern County businesses have decided whether to stay open or temporarily shut their doors.

The 24th Street Cafe in Downtown Bakersfield — a restaurant typically booming with business during the morning and mid-day hours — is temporarily closing.

Management posted a sign on the front door, noting the socially responsible right thing to do is temporarily close to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The popular “BLVD” venue in Central Bakersfield also announced a closure for at least two weeks.

“To let all of my employees here today know [about the closure] was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do,” said Victoria Chivas, general manager at the “BLVD.”

She acknowledged these are tough times, yet through all of it, she and her team have stepped up their humanity. Before closing, the employees packaged up crates of food, including food and vegetables, for local homeless shelters.

“The boulevard is here to do some good in such a hard time for everybody and for Kern county and California and the country,” Chivas said. “We are doing our part and donating what we can to our local shelters.”

Other businesses, like the popular lunch spot “Tossit” have not shut their doors.

“No no no, we’re open, come on in!” Tossit’s owner Gaby Gonzalez said to a customer Monday.

“We’re here, I’m terrified. I think about it all the time: are people going to show up. Is anyone going to come in? Is everyone going to shut down? Everyone is feeling it and being impacted in different ways. So we’re no different but we are going to remain open,” she said.

Dagny’s Coffee Company in Downtown also remains open. Customers filled the shop Monday, but those in charge at Dagny’s want the public to know anyone can still get coffee and not have to come inside.

“We are encouraging phone orders [and] pick up orders to call us directly,” said Kelsey Sill, the shop’s manager. “We will bring it out to the car, leave it on the table if you’re comfortable with that, but call us and we’re more than happy to do pickups.”

She is asking the public to support local businesses.

“We are open. We are here. Lots of people downtown need some love right now.”

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