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Fresno and Clovis Close Restaurant Dine-Ins

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Fresno and Clovis issued orders Tuesday afternoon to close dine-in portions of restaurants in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
One day after the Fresno City Council ratified Mayor Lee Brand’s State of Emergency order, the city — through city manager Wilma Quan — will limit restaurants to drive-through, delivery, and takeout.
The order also applies to food courts. Costco, a popular members-only location known for its $1.50 hot dog/soda combo, eliminated tables to prevent patrons from sitting and congregating.
Monday, the city of Fresno said it would follow a state directive to close bars/pubs and wineries.

No More Liquor Licenses as Well

Quan’s order also prevents the city from issuing special event permits and temporary liquor licenses.
The Fresno Police Department and city code enforcement will be responsible for enforcing the order. Violators could be punished with a misdemeanor and/or $1,000 fine.
All orders will remain in effect until repealed by Quan or the city council.

Restaurant Association Concerned

“There is no sugarcoating that. It is a very, very difficult time right now for restaurant businesses.” Sharokina Shams, California Restaurant Association
Sharokina Shams, with the California Restaurant Association, says this will be a significant change.
“There is no sugarcoating that. It is a very, very difficult time right now for restaurant businesses,” Shams said.
Shams said restaurants, many of which are family or independently owned, will have to utilize curbside pickup or delivery.
“We think that that’s a wise decision, because moving forward, we think that consumers are going to need to use those avenues in order to have enough access to daily meals,” Shams said.
She said that families may be relying on more meals because of school closures, meaning children will be home more often.
Shams estimates that 1.6 million people work in the restaurant industry. She’s unsure how many will be left standing when the emergency orders are lifted.
“What we’re hoping for is some sort of relief both from federal government and from state governments that would allow these businesses to hibernate,” Shams said.

Councilman Disagrees with Order

Photo of Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld in his office
“This is going beyond that which is destroying people’s livelihood which I disagree with.”Councilman Garry Bredefeld
Fresno Councilman Garry Bredefeld, who voted for the emergency order that was approved unanimously, disagrees with Quan’s action.
“(The city) had the ability (for restaurants to have) an occupancy of 50 percent and social distancing, which was good common sense,” Bredefeld told GV Wire. “Now, we are shutting down and putting the staff (in jeopardy) … you have to find the right balance. This is going beyond that which is destroying people’s livelihood which I disagree with.”
Bredefeld is unsure if there is enough will on the council to reverse the order.

Similar Order in Clovis

Earlier today, Clovis — through city manager Luke Serpa — issued a similar edict.
“We understand these are challenging times for our local business. We encourage you to consider a local restaurant’s take-out and delivery options when making your dining choices,” a Clovis news release says.

Read Fresno, Clovis Orders

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David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email