NewsCovering Kern County


Downtown Bakersfield restaurants empty due to COVID-19

Downtown Bakersfield restaurants remain empty due to COVID-19
Posted at 2:27 AM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 05:46:50-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — It has been 24-hours since the governor issued a stay-at-home order for Californians and has required all non-essential businesses to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since the announcement, many restaurants have been trying to find ways to continue to serve the community.

Jerry's Pizza and Pub located in the heart of downtown says due to the outbreak they have had to make difficult decisions.

"We had to lay out off six of our employees today and dining in is not available to our customers," said Corina Topete, Jerry's Pizza and Pub owner. "It's hard to get to downtown if you aren’t coming this way."

On Friday night, the once lively downtown area was deserted due to the outbreak of COVID-19, and the stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom.

The order requires all non-essential businesses to close other than gas stations, pharmacies, banks, laundromats, and food operations.

Some food operations include delivery services and take out.

"The plus side is that our Uber Eats is going off, but that’s only a certain radius, so it's not like we can get all of Bakersfield with Uber eats," said Topete. "We have been doing pizza kits where people can make their own pizza at home."

After losing more than half of their staff, Jerry's Pizza says they are not sure what next week will bring for their business.

The pub also serves as an entertainment venue where they hold concerts of all genres.

"It's affecting everyone and within two days we had all of our shows canceled for the month and that affects our security, guards, and hosts," Topete said.

Right beside them is Jasmine's Thai restaurant that has been impacted by COVID-19. Now they are offering take out only.

"It's like a ghost town on a Friday night that’s not the norm," Topete said.

Jerry's Pizza says they are very thankful for the community's support during this time and they are taking additional precautions against looters.