Going out to eat — literally

GROUPS OF HUNGRY TRACY RESIDENTS filled up the back area of Bonnie & Clyde’s on Monday.

Diners can now actually go to a restaurant and sit down to dine, as long as it’s outside

By Per Peterson

Mike and Betsy McDonald continue to worry about the future of their downtown Bonnie & Clyde’s restaurant, but they are thankful for the support they have received from the city during the pandemic.

And while they, like every other restaurant owner, would’ve loved nothing more than to literally open their doors to patrons on June 1, they are doing all they can to keep the business going. Part of that now includes outdoor dining, which as of this Monday is allowed by the state under Phase II of the governor’s Stay Safe plan.

“We’re happy that we can open … for some semblance of business,” Betsy said.

“And we definitely appreciate all the help we’ve had from the City of Tracy, (EDA Director) Jeff Carpenter, the city administrator, and the community,” Mike said. “We are very thankful for that support.”

“We’re very thankful for the residents of Tracy — they’ve done a good job of keeping us alive so far,” Betsy added. “If it weren’t for everybody coming out and doing the to-go orders …”

Like The Caboose on the highway, Bonnie & Clyde’s has only been able to serve their customers in take-out fashion since March. That changed, to some extent, Monday with outdoor dining being permitted. The move to Phase II allows bars/restaurants to serve outdoors, with a 50-person maximum (that doesn’t include employees).

At Bonnie & Clyde’s, a number of picnic tables have been set up on the 15-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side of the building on South St. There is also seating behind the building.

“We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got to work with,” Mike said.

The Tracy City Council last week approved a motion to allow outdoor bar and restaurant seating on public sidewalks in town.

As of June 1, restaurants can open for outside seating only. The current city code does not prohibit outside seating on public sidewalks, but the City felt it was important to make an official statement that seating is allowed on public walkways that are adjacent to bars/restaurants.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.