SIERRA MADRE (CBSLA) — Some Southern California cities have been doing what they can to help local businesses recover from coronavirus-related closures, but many businesses are still waiting for the green light to reopen.
Vic Satamian, a restaurant owner, spent his Wednesday overseeing the construction of a new outdoor dining room for his Greek and Mediterranean restaurant along Sierra Madre Boulevard.
In front of Corfu was one of five wooden platforms the city of Sierra Madre was constructing over parking spaces to help restaurants welcome more customers while maintaining physical distancing.
“We’re going to have about four or five tables, maybe like three or four people at each table,” Satamian said.
But while Satamian was moving forward with his reopening, Jennifer Higdon cannot.
“It’s just a waiting game,” she said.
Higdon’s family owns The Buccaneer, a popular dive bar where people play pool and blast music from the jukebox.
“We’ve been in business here in Sierra Madre for 60 years, and we have owned it for 30,” Higdon said.
Despite the state’s announcement last week that bars, theaters and gyms would be allowed to reopen Friday, Los Angeles County has yet to add bars that do not serve food to the list of local businesses allowed to open their doors again.
“We’re stocking up, getting ready and praying for this weekend,” Higdon said.
Higdon said they have spaced the tables, bought sanitizer and were planning to put more tables and chairs behind the building in the parking lot.
“We are out of money,” Higdon said. “We’re waiting on the county to give us the go ahead.”
But there was a bit of good news for The Buccaneer. On Tuesday night, the Sierra Madre City Council approved one-time grants of $3,000 for 19 local businesses, including The Buccaneer, to help them get back to business once they’re allowed to reopen.