When Governor Gavin Newsom announced July 1 that indoor dining at restaurants was closed immediately, Big Bear eateries didn’t skip a beat. They were facing a busy holiday weekend and did what Big Bear residents seem to do best — they adapted and overcame the challenge.
Patios appeared everywhere, even where there weren’t patios outside Big Bear restaurants. Tables, umbrellas, tents, barriers, even a few games transformed Big Bear’s eateries from indoor restaurants to outdoor dining facilities.
Captain’s Anchorage on Moonridge Way doesn’t have a patio. It’s history-filled building is known for its ambiance of big booths, a fireplace and even a ghost here and there. Owner Patti Scriven opened the doors and moved the operation outside when Newsom issued his order July 1. The handicap parking lot on the south side of the building became a patio, Scriven said. The handicap parking was moved back to the north side of the building where it used to be, she said.
Scriven installed café lights and tables with umbrellas. The 20 tables are 6 feet apart and the customers are appreciative, Scriven said. They love the new atmosphere under the stars at night and the clear blue skies and pine trees for afternoon seating, she said. Captain’s Anchorage opens at 4:30 p.m. daily.
Julie Hastings of Peppercorn Grille in the Village had a patio, but it was small. Within a few hours, she had transformed her parking lot into an outdoor dinging experience. “It was amazine; we moved our entire dining room into the tent,” Hastings said. Hastings transformed the parking lot in front of the restaurant on Pine Knot Avenue at Stone Road into an outdoor dining room. The parking lot was set up with tents with lighting and astroturf, and portable fencing set up to establish barriers. Hastings said the parking was lost, but it didn’t matter. The restaurant was booked all weekend.
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