A unique shop has opened in downtown Riverbank, but it almost immediately ran into a conflict with changing COVID restrictions in the state.
Get Toasted, accentuating mimosas for brunch, has opened at 3308 Santa Fe, the former location of Pizza Plus, just a few weeks ago.
Owners Jaclyn and Ricky Lininger said they poured everything they had into remodeling the shop, including gutting and redesigning it and bringing all the equipment and facilities up to current code.
Jaclyn said it took more than two years to accomplish all the changes necessary, and they were finally able to open their doors in the middle of November.
However, the Monday after that celebration, Governor Gavin Newsom announced many of the counties in California, including Stanislaus, were being rolled back to the purple tier, or ‘widespread’ in regard to dealing with the COVID pandemic.
That meant, having just opened with limited indoor seating, according to the red tier specifications, they would now be constrained to ‘to go’ orders or serving customers outside.
Although the old Pizza Plus location had an area outside the front door, on the sidewalk, set aside for dining, Get Toasted had not been prepared to serve customers there. She said that they got help from Pizza Plus owner Mike Whorton, who loaned them some outside equipment, so they have three tables and up to 12 chairs out there.
She said that the shop had been designed to serve about 83 customers at a time, but, with social distancing, that number is limited to about 20, both in and outside.
Lininger said she has appealed to the city and hopes to be allowed to continue to serve customers inside as well, as the current cold temperatures has discouraged customers in the outside area.
And she said they’ve been searching for tenting and outside heaters to use, but many other businesses are doing the same thing, so they’ve been unsuccessful so far in that regard but are continuing the search.
Jaclyn said she, her husband Ricky and her mother, Maria Ucci did all the remodeling themselves, and now hope to pull it through the effects of dealing with COVID.
She said the shop was open just two days before the county fell back to purple tier COVID status, and she had just ordered about $4,000 worth of food for the new dishes she was making.
Although mimosa brunches are the main, named attraction on their menu, it goes on for four pages on their Facebook site, with thorough descriptions of what is offered.
For the present, the shop is open for brunch, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.