SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Tents erected to serve outdoor diners during the pandemic didn’t stand much of a chance against gale-force winds that swept through the Sacramento Valley and beyond, including at Hawks Public House in midtown Sacramento.
Customers were coming out despite the storm when owner Mike Fagnoni tried to take down the sides when the wind began blowing hard.
“Right as we started taking it down it just — whew — took off behind us and folded over,” he recalled.
Tents at Bombay Bar & Grill on 21st Street also had no chance, with a falling tree crashing into the wooden roof and sides.
It’s a blow for a business that tried hard to adjust to the pandemic.
“We built this for the outdoor dining, for the COVID-19 guidelines and it’s not going to be covered by insurance; it’s probably under the deductible,” said Val Oushakofl of Bombay Restaurant.
But with the pandemic still underway, many restaurants have no choice but to lay out more money to give people options and survive.
“They’re tired of eating at home; they want to eat outside, so we provided a way for them to do that. Now, we have a little bit of work to do to get them back out here,” Oushakofl told FOX40.
A few brave souls lunched at INK during a break in the storm, with a group of diners noting the storm’s hit to local restaurants.
“I think it’s hard for them because they want business and it’s freezing and they have to make everything outside and they really don’t have a choice,” Joanna Bedoe said.
“I really feel bad for them; they are trying to survive in this environment, so it’s tough,” Kevin Chandler added.
Kavid Sandler said, “I try to do my part where I can and eat out, help them because they are part of our community; we’re part of their community.”
The challenge is not over as restaurants begin repairs and shoring up tents and outdoor facilities for more stormy days ahead.
“We owe it to our employees, and we just try to keep it going and we’ll build another one, and we’re going to tie it down really good this time,” Fagnoni said.