NewsCovering Kern County


Local restaurant owner faces reclosure

Posted at 7:20 AM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 10:55:49-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — “Obviously we’ve been here before, but with the recent reopening we hired a lot of people back, it’s kind of difficult," said Alejandro Ocampo, local restaurant owner.

Alejandro Ocampo is the owner of three Bakersfield restaurants: Vida Vegan, Camino Real Kitchen and Tequila, and Bakersfield Pizza Company.

“There's a lot going on we have our fridge, bar stocked and we've been running a full sit down restaurant and going back to scaling down is a significant change," said Ocampo.

He says he found out indoor dining was closed the moment everyone else did - through Governor Gavin Newsom's press conference Wednesday morning.

“I had to read it two or three times to make sure it was correct and then my phone started ringing and texts started coming.. The staff was worried," said Ocampo.

When dine-in re-opened about a month ago, Ocampo was able to hire his staff back and even bring on new staff to his restaurants. Now, he is once again facing the decision of reducing staff and hours.

“Obviously if the restaurant is not running at a 100% we cant run the staff at a 100% we would have five cooks and four staff members standing around for three to-go orders every hour so that's something we need to sit down and asses," said Ocampo.

Ocampo says he is more optimistic this time around, choosing to focus on the good and learning from the first wave of closures.

“It’s an opportunity for businesses to realize this could happen at any time and we need to learn and improvise on local take out and a lot of the other restaurants are on the same boat and I hold all of them in my thoughts because this will be tough but we’ll get through it."