Shaver Lake's economy looking strong as two new restaurants open for business

SHAVER LAKE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two new restaurants are now open in Shaver Lake, and locals say the economy in the town is strong.

"I think our little hidden gem here is not so hidden anymore," said Chris Garza, owner of Osito's Mexican Pub. "There's a demand for a restaurant or two, there's people coming up here, we're excited for more visitors and to share this little slice of heaven."

Garza officially opened Osito's in early September in the old Sawmill building at 41203 Tollhouse Rd. The Sawmill restaurant was a popular local spot but had been closed for 15 years. Garza used to go to the restaurant when he was little.

"When I was looking where I want to locate and set down roots, Shaver was the ideal spot for me," he said.

"Lots of excitement, lots of interest, lots of support in reopening this place," Garza said. Osito's still features some of the decor and themes that people would recognize from the Sawmill, but Garza is trying to fill a hole in the Shaver Lake dining market.

"It definitely fills a void," Garza said of bringing Mexican cuisine to the area. "In the same way gastropubs took burgers to the next level, we'd like to do that with Mexican food."

Not far up the road, 559 Beer has expanded to a new location right next to the lake at 44189 CA-168.

"With the amount of business we've had, we've been able to employ a lot of people and create some revenue up here," said owner Rhett Williams. The Clovis-based brewery focuses on using ag products in their beer, featuring brews with raisins, figs and strawberries.

The restaurant also just launched a boat delivery system. Williams says all you need to do is place your order on their website, then dock your boat and his team will bring out your food.

Fellow business owners think the uptick in businesses is the sign of a strong local economy after some down years in the recent past.

"I think it's an accumulation of all the people in the area who are marketing the area," said John Wright, owner of Shaver Lake Pub 'N Grub.

"We don't consider it competition, we feel like we enhance each other. This has been one of our best summers... we're up 13-15% above last year per month in sales," he said.

"Shaver Lake is back on the map."

For more on 559 Beer, click here. For more on Osito's, click here.
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