Mariposa County given approval to move further into phase 2 of re-opening

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many businesses in Mariposa County are looking forward to welcoming customers back into their buildings for the first time in several weeks.

That includes Happy Burger Diner off Highway 140, which has been closed completely since stay at home orders went into effect.

"We've been cleaning and painting and organizing and doing as much as we can to make the restaurant as safe as possible so that we can serve our customers who we miss and bring our employees back to work," says Doamme Fritz, Happy Burger Co-Owner.

The nearby 1850 Restaurant and Brewery recently re-opened for takeout and has continued to make its own craft beer.

But now the owners are also preparing to start serving residents out on the patio and in the restaurant.

"I do really appreciate our Board of Supervisors and the public County Health Officers, and them being advocates for small businesses and allowing us to potentially reopen sooner than the rest of the state," says Hannah Wackerman.

On Wednesday, Mariposa County was given approval to move further into phase 2 of re-opening businesses.

The county met all the requirements to move forward with loosening more restrictions than the state of California would otherwise allow.

With the approval from the state, Mariposa County will be allowed to reopen "destination retail" locations (including shopping malls and swap meets), dine-in restaurants and schools with modifications.

Kara Inman plans to open her Brick Wall Boutique on Friday and is also in the process of setting up a men's clothing store, despite these challenging times.

"It's scary, I'm not going to lie," she said. "It's really scary, but we know that our community needs a store like this, and we are Mariposa strong, so I think that we're going to do just fine, and it's the perfect opportunity to welcome something new into our town."

The business owners we spoke with say while they're excited to welcome back their local customers, they really rely on the tourists who visit Yosemite.

They are hoping the national park will re-open but also understand the importance of preventing an outbreak that could stop any economic progress in its tracks.

Mariposa is the only county in Central California to gain the state's approval and was given the green light at the same time as 14 other small counties: Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Tehama,
Tuolumne and Yuba-Sutter.
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