Family meals growing in popularity during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local restaurants are getting creative to serve tasty takeout and adding more family options to go.

Fish and chips are being fried inside Riley's Brew Pub in Clovis. Chefs are cooking up their next takeout orders.

It's not just the individual meals people are ordering. These days, people are going family style.

"It is way more popular, much more than before. I think that's because the nature of what's happening just calls for it," said Elizabeth Noble, Riley's Brew Pub co-owner.

Elizabeth Noble with Riley's says they now have multiple family meals to go from tri-tip and ribs to grilled chicken.

The cost starts at $45 depending on the combinations for a family of four to six. Noble believes people crave variety and a night not to do the dishes.

"If you're home cooking seven days a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner, by the time dinner gets around Sunday night, Saturday night, you probably don't want to," Noble said.

People can order on the phone or through Doordash.

The restaurant serves pub-style food, locally brewed beer and crafted ciders from its Madera facility.

Although people can't dine in the pub, they're getting creative to bring that craft experience to your home.

"We also do a happy hour. I know that sounds a little crazy since you can't come in and have happy hour, but at least you can purchase your food to go and we offer brews and bites where you get a bite with every purchase," Noble said.

About nine employees are working at the restaurant, a third of what they normally have.

The pub opened in 2016 and was growing steadily before the pandemic.

"I feel like we're slowing bleeding out if this doesn't get resolved soon. The big boys, the large corporations, have tons of money to throw behind them. It's the small family-owned individuals, such as ourselves, in our small community. We'll just never make it if we continue to do this," Noble said.

A local restaurant with a goal to survive the times.

Riley's brewing is open Tuesday through Sunday. Owners say every meal purchased helps keep this family business going.
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