Chula Vista

Taking Social Distancing to New Distances

Chula Vista restaurants look to stay back when delivering orders

NBCUniversal, Inc.

We’re wearing masks. We’re wearing gloves. We’re trying to stay six-feet apart.

Somehow, some of that goes out the window at the drive-thru or when we pick up our carry-out food orders. Restaurant employees are often well within six feet when they approach your window.

“It’s tough. It’s difficult. We’ve reinvented who we are,” said Adam Sparks, who co-owns Mangia Italiano on Third with his wife.

We need to take it very seriously.

Adam Sparks, Mangia Italiano on Third

The couple opened their restaurant on Third Avenue in Chula Vista 14 years ago.  They were enjoying a bit of a renaissance in Downtown Chula Vista with other new restaurants, breweries, and taprooms.

“Only this happened,” Sparks said.

“You can be mad. You can be angry. You can cry. You just have to come here every day,” said Kevin Lewis, one of the founders of 3 Punk Ales Brewing.

Lewis said the coronavirus cut their business in half. He said they’re trying to make ends meet by applying for every form of assistance they can find and selling growlers to go.

“People miss going to those bars, sitting at the bar, having the regulars,” he said. “All these bartenders that have no one to talk to anymore.”

“I don’t think that the whole thing has sunk in yet,” Sparks added. “We’ve been so fast just making changes.”

Those changes include taking social distancing to new distances. Sparks said many of the restaurants on Third Avenue are embracing take-out and deliveries. 

They are also embracing a new delivery method for on-line and phoned-in orders. Sparks said customers can put a towel or blanket on the hood of their vehicle. An employee will place the order on the towel and walk away. Then the customer can grab the order without coming within six feet of anyone.

A hand places a cup and bag on the hood of a car, covered with a blue towel
Joe Little, NBC 7
A Mangia Italiano on Third employee places a carry-out food order on the hood of a car.

“It’s keeping that social distancing more distant,” Sparks said.

“It’s all about the community,” Lewis added.

“If we’re going to get passed this,” Sparks concluded. “We need to take it very seriously.”

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