Pine Knot Avenue was closed to motorized traffic July 25 and 26, and Village Drive’s parking spots were blocked to allow for businesses to expand their operations area. It was a trial closure and now city officials are asking for feedback from the merchants.

“I think it went well,” said Frank Rush, Big Bear Lake city manager. He said there weren’t any problems and he didn’t receive any negative feedback. But he isn’t sure how helpful the closure was for Village businesses, Rush said.

Alayna Monroe, who owns Barrel 33 on Village Drive with her husband Manny, said she thought the closure was very successful for her business, which is a wine tasting and retail store. It was “awesome to be able to get some more business during these crazy times,” Monroe said.

The purpose of the closure was two-fold.  One to provide more space for pedestrians and visitors to the Village to create physical distance and second to help businesses impacted by limitations imposed by the governor due to COVID-19.

When Governor Gavin Newsom ordered indoor dining to cease, restaurants moved their operations outside. Other businesses such as gyms and even hair salons were also forced to rethink their operations and move outside if possible. Big Bear restaurants responded setting up new outdoor dining sites, including those outside the Village L just before the July 4 holiday weekend. Not all restaurants took advantage of the additional space offered during the recent trial closure, Rush said.

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