Pocket Life 2020
Find out what is going on in Pocket this month!
By Corky Mau
Time to Eat
Pocket restaurants dodge pandemic
Pandemic and social-distancing protocols have slammed the restaurant industry. Fortunately, our neighborhood dining establishments have weathered the challenges somewhat better than their Downtown counterparts. No restaurants shut for good in Pocket. When indoor dining was prohibited, all offered takeout or delivery options. Some, such as Vientos and Caffe Latte, had space to provide outdoor dining.
In June, the city launched the Farm to Fork Al Fresco Grant Program to help restaurants build or expand outdoor dining spaces. Eight Pocket restaurants received grant funds. They used the dollars to purchase outdoor furnishings, personal protective gear for employees and safety barricades.
Katie Kinner-Kerksieck, co-owner of Cacio, says they began outdoor dining in the middle of September. “I think the city did a great job with this grant program,” she notes. “The application process was smooth. An added bonus was that for an additional low fee, we’re able to serve alcoholic beverages in our new outdoor space.”
If you are tired of takeout or cooking at home, visit these local restaurants for outdoor dining experiences: Caffe Latte, Cacio, Subway, Baskins-Robbins, The Beijing Garden, Banzai Sushi, A Taste Above and Device Brewing Company.
“These grants are making it easier for restaurants affected by the pandemic to support themselves and their communities,” says City Councilmember Rick Jennings, who represents Pocket and Greenhaven. “I’m happy to hear that restaurant owners are appreciative of the program and we are all rooting for their continued success.”
The dining situation improved in late September when county officials allowed indoor dining at 25-percent capacity. The news was a welcomed step, but some owners, such as Kinner-Kerksieck, were hesitant to return to old habits. “Out of caution for our guests, employees and our own health, we’re still holding off with indoor dining,” she says.
Adjustments have been difficult, with restaurants temporarily laying off employees and reducing hours and menu options. But two new restaurants recently opened: Kings Hawaiian BBQ (South Land Park Plaza) and Homero’s Mexican (Promenade Shopping Center).
All local restaurants look forward to seeing our masked faces. They appreciate the community’s support. And remember to welcome the new kids on the block.
WAYS TO VOTE
Residents have several ways to return ballots this election season. You can mail your ballot to Sacramento County elections officials in the postage-paid return envelope or take the ballot to a Ballot Drop Box.
Bel Air grocery stores on Florin Road and Rush River Drive have drop boxes. On Election Day, Nov. 3, the boxes will be available from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library has a drop box. It’s available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. On Election Day, you can drop off your ballot from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
You can authorize someone to return your ballot—but make sure to fill out the authorization section on the outside of the ballot envelope.
From Oct. 31 through Nov. 3, you can vote in person at a designated Vote Center. There are two sites in our neighborhood: Elks Lodge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Robbie Waters library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Election Day, both locations will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Return your ballot early to avoid the rush. To track the status of your ballot, visit BallotTrax, a free ballot tracking and alert system in California, at ballottrax.net/voter.