Fresno bars and breweries open to customers after months of closures

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno bars and breweries are back open for business after months of closed doors.

"It has been a big change and I'm excited," says Steven Garcia. "I've been cooped up for too long. I'm glad to be outside again."

The change includes new safety measures for businesses like Tioga Sequoia Brewery, which closed its beer garden in late March.

"When you come in, you are required to have a mask," says William Compton, Beer Garden Manager at Tioga Sequoia. "A host will seat you to your table. We do tell people that they do only limit half of their party to order at one time."

No mask? No problem.

The brewery is selling facial coverings to its patrons for $1.

Throughout the brewery, guests will see hand sanitizer, and restrooms are cleaned every half hour.

Customers including Marissa Arreguin welcome the changes.

"I love to see it," she said. "Honestly, it makes me feel better being here."

Food trucks located inside the brewery's beer garden are also meeting safety guidelines, including displaying current permits with the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Down the street, The Modernist is serving craft cocktails with a few changes of its own.

"We're doing the best we can to keep people socially distanced, sanitize as much as we can," says Ryan Metcalf, Bar Director at The Modernist.. "When people leave, everything is clean for the new people coming in."

The Modernist is making its reopen possible by limiting its capacity to 50 percent.

Guests can expect to see barstools separated by six feet and bar staff wearing masks or face shields.

"Everybody will be masked up," Metcalf said. "We're wearing them so the guests don't always have to wear them, but we want you to feel safe and protected."

The downtown bar is also encouraging patrons to visit its website and add their name to a waiting list, especially on Fridays and Saturdays.
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