by Debbie Cvijanovich
COVID-19 is still very much with us. Our “bread and butter” local businesses continue to face hard challenges as they navigate the ever-changing “new normal’. Eateries — or at least those who can stay open — are now only allowed to serve customers outside, and that with only half the capacity to adhere to social distancing rules. Less tables = less customers = less employees and less revenue. The domino effect in full force.
To thrive, our patronage is needed (and wholeheartedly appreciated).
We Venturans deeply value our community…we rise to the occasion.
Meanwhile…our Downtown historic district businesses are being met with crowds during weekends, and that will likely continue through Summer. In June Downtown Main Street was closed off to vehicles, creating a strolling promenade “European style” whereby eateries expanded with tables onto the street, creating a wonderful outdoor dining experience called “Main Street Moves”. Very cool indeed. The program has been well received by the locals and certainly lives up to its hype.
While the spotlight shines bright on the known, Ventura’s off-the-beaten-path gems are somewhat forgotten … and in need of our attention.
These lesser known/visited establishments deemed “neighborhood” Mom & Pop businesses rely heavily on us locals to maintain their livelihood. In many ways, they’re the true heartbeat of our community in every sense. A bond/relationship formed. They serve and supply us. They offer convenience. We walk and pedal our bikes to them.
They are our Midtown and East End communities. Needing us…more than ever…to shower them with support.
Have we forgotten about them? Let’s put them on our radar!
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MIDTOWN (MT) OR EAST END (EE)?
Ask Ventura locals on their perspective regarding the boundaries between these two…they chime in and quip, “zip codes”, “Mills Rd and Victoria Rd is the divide”, “the Mall”, “the weather (ha!)”.
Such an ongoing debate! All in fun.
“East End is where the fog stops.” This cheery (and truthful) reply gets a chuckle!
A few locals recall “the good old days” living amongst fragrant citrus orchards synonymous with our rural East End.
Historically, as our city stretched further East as it grew…so did the boundaries.
Listed are a bunch of favorite businesses in these districts:
Cafe Nouveau (popular breakfast/lunch spot. Patio dining)
Cafe Zack (exquisite meals and service at its finest)
Bagel Rock (shout out to it’s Jalapeno Cheese flavored bagel!)
Danny’s Deli (a true “honest to goodness” Deli!)
Cafe Ficelle (artisan pastries and European cafe)
2868 Kitchen (eclectic offerings)
Royal Bakery (outstanding service and abundant salads/sandwich/soups/quiche. Yummy baked goods)
The Cave at Ventura Wine Company (popular Chef Gary is back!)
Gloria’s Kitchen (excellent variety and hearty portions)
Prime (classy lounge and fine dining)
Yolanda’s (a local Mexican food mainstay)
Rincon Brewing Co. (local brewery and pub fare)
Cask Alehouse (local and boutique brews/wines. Great happy hour!)
Sugar Lab (delectable sweets!)
Simone’s (local friendly coffeeshop. 2 locations)
Two Trees Cafe (appetizers are notable)
Pizza Chief (a diehard community supporter)
Tony’s Burrito Hut (Corn Burritos, anyone? The famed ceramic hamburger pen holder is still in existence)
Many, many more to name…what’s your fav not listed?
Besides the notable eateries, let’s not forget our retail and service businesses! A slew of fantastic consignment stores and pampering services reside within these districts. All grateful for our support.
How fortunate are we to have such a wide variety to choose from?
They are counting on us. We CAN make a difference…
HOW WE CAN SHOW SUPPORT
-Dine out. Take out. Shop.
-Buy gift cards. Then…make someone smile by giving!
-Share, share, share. Social media brings awareness. Share a post from the business, Post your interaction with the business. Entice your audience with a photo of your delicious meal or retail purchase.
-Stay focused. Be mindful where your dining dollars are spent. Think MT or EE!
-Inspire others within your “circle” to support.
-Rally friends/family for a date in these districts.
-Tip generously! Show your appreciation!
-Take The Pledge! Commit to Take-out Tuesdays, Buy Local.
-Make a pact to help the cause. Be creative!
-Above all…be kind. We are all going through an extraordinary and challenging time. A little compassion goes a long way.
Power of the people! Case in point…
Recently, word spread on Social Media that local favorite (king of the beloved corn burritos) Foster Freeze was going to close its doors. NO WAY! Locals weren’t going to let that happen and they showed up! Long lines for days. That’s all it took. Foster Freeze survived!
We must keep the momentum going…Ventura SMALL BUSINESS Strong!
Which lucky MT or EE business is receiving your love today?