Sunday, March 22, 2020

As Californians shelter at home, businesses close, the roads clear and people keep a respectful distance from each other. Another casualty: the iconic restaurants that make our community special either close or go to take-out only

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other person or organization.

 * ... SHELTERING IN: So how did your first weekend go sheltering in place? The town was eerily - and appropriately - quiet with restaurants, bars, movie theaters and events shut down. The bike path
was moderately busy with runners, walkers and cyclists, but other than that it was certainly an odd weekend. We now have six cases in Kern County, and you have to wonder about all the naysayers who complained this was much ado about nothing.

As of 4 p.m. PST on Sunday, the United States had 32,000 cases and 201 deaths. In California, as of 2 p.m. Sunday, we have had 1,468 positive cases of the virus and 27 deaths.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Waiting for the government to ban gatherings of more than 4 people so I don’t have to go home."

 * .. PRICE GOUGING: District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer has a warning for all of you who want to take advantage of the run on food, toilet paper and hand sanitizers: if we catch you price gouging, you will be prosecuted. Zimmer said investigators from her office are routinely checking out reports of price gouging and if a case can be proven, she will not hesitate to bring charges. If you know of instances of price gouging, contact the DA's office.

 * ... RESTAURANTS: One by one the iconic restaurants that serve our community - Uricchios Trattoria, Luigi's Delicatessan, Jake's Tex-Mex, Mexicali, Two Goats and a Goose (formerly Muertos), Pyrenee's Cafe , Cafe Smitten etc - have shut down or gone to curbside takeout service only because of the coronavirus. We will find out shortly how important a role the bars and restaurants play in our community, in terms of socializing, doing business and family time. I miss them already, and I fret over the well being of the owners and the servers, bartenders, cooks and busboys who serve us every day.

 * ... SIGN OF THE TIMES: I came home to find this on my door, notice from one of my favorite Mexican restaurants that they remain open, at least for take-out.

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: Speaks for itself...

 * ... MEMORIES: If you didn't think there was traffic back in the day, think again. Take a look at this nugget from our past.

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