MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) At this time last year, Alvarado Street in downtown Monterey looked a little different than it does now. While people are still able to grab a bite, that hasn't been enough to keep some restaurants open through the winter.
The rooms of once lively restaurants and bars now sit silent this 2020 holiday weekend night. The outdoor seating area for Lallapalooza apparently wasn't enough to keep the restaurant open.
"It's tough, you know. I've grown up here and a lot of these places I've seen since I was a kid. You always gotta hope for the best," said Joe Cuaderno, a Monterey local.
In a statement on their website, the owners of Lallapalooza say they have decided to close their doors for the foreseeable future because of what they call "the on-going regulatory battle against small family-owned restaurants by both the local and state government."
They are calling on the government to "cease these immoral and arbitrary acts against the restaurant industry."
Businesses that were able to stay open can sympathize with what they have all been facing since March, even if they are pressing forward.
"I wouldn't say it's too far, but it is definitely testing people and testing businesses. I'm willing to do what it takes to get us through this, but it's definitely been trying," said Nicole Grummons, the operations manager at Alvarado Street Brewery.
"I think Monterey has been pretty fortunate thus far with the winter. It hasn't been too cold to deter people from eating outside permanently," said Cuaderno.
Lallapalooza is not alone. Places like the Bull and Bear, Aabha Indian Grill and others are closed as well. Full Moon Mandarin Cuisine tells KION 65 percent of their business is down. With no international students or many tourists coming by, it has been hard to stay afloat.
But there is some hope: SUR Burger recently reopened under new management after it closed down for about three months. It is stories like these that are keeping some optimistic.
"It's a struggle for everybody, but it's something that ultimately we're going to get through. The buildings will still be there and new people will come in, open and start anew," said Pete Balzer, who was visiting Monterey on Friday.
And the concerns for businesses are very palpable. Los Angeles County just announced starting next week, a new temporary stay-at-home order will take effect. That includes more restricted occupancy limits for restaurants, non-essential retail and other crowded locations.