.Restaurateurs Request Massive Aid Package

Owners of Tacos Oscar, Make Westing, The Kebabery, Bar Shiru and other businesses sign "bail out Main Street" document sent to Congress

Owners Glenn Kaplan of Make Westing, Brian Crookes of The Kebabery, Shirin Raza of Bar Shiru, Elizabeth Frumusa of Bellanico Restaurant and co-owner Martina Nemling of Modern Coffee are among the East Bay business owners who have joined thousands more nationwide in formally asking Congress to “bail out Main Street” with stimulus funds during the Covid-19 crisis.

Signed thus far by over 12,000 small-business owners nationwide and processed through the Washington, D.C.-based SmallBusinessMajority.org advocacy outfit, the document addressed to Congress reads in part:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs on the brink of collapse through no fault of our own. People are struggling, our businesses are closing or slowing operations, and many of us are being forced to lay off our hard-working employees en masse. Immediate action is needed by Congress and the administration, which is why we call on you to provide a massive and bold stimulus package for Main Street that includes grant assistance.

“Small businesses employ 47 percent of private sector workers in the U.S. That’s nearly 60 million individuals who depend on small businesses like ours for their livelihood and the livelihood of their families. If we’re going to rebuild our economy after
this crisis, we need our elected officials to put small businesses front and
center of this relief effort.

“While preliminary action on economic stimulus packages was a step in the right direction, the funds disbursed for new small business loans will just begin to scratch the surface of what we need. We’ve reached a point now where small businesses need much more than loans to reopen or keep our businesses going—we need an immediate cash infusion. Otherwise we will still struggle to keep our doors open, rehire staff, mitigate supply chain disruptions and pay off mounting debt.

“We urge you to act now to provide immediate cash flow assistance and other important policy solutions to support America’s small businesses. This is the only way to ensure our businesses and our economy can survive the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.”

Other East Bay owners who signed the document include Malaka Wilson-Greene of Two Chicks in the Mix, Olivia Colt of Salt & Honey, Oscar Michel of Oakland’s Tacos Oscar and Lito Saldana of Los Moles and many more.

A New Mountain Mike’s Pizza Opens in Oakland

Covid-19 or no Covid-19, Mountain Mike’s Pizza has just announced the launch of its newest location—near the Oakland Colisum and Oracle Arena. It’s the city’s fifth Mountain Mike’s.

“Although we’re not able to open our dining rooms just yet, we are proud to begin serving Mountain Mike’s signature pizzas to the Oakland community in the safest way possible,” said Bhimsen Khadka, one of the new location’s three franchise partners.

Although its dining room is closed until shelter-in-place orders are
revised, the restaurant offers a full menu of pizzas, wings, garlic sticks, beers, wines and more via contactless delivery and carry-out, as reported by QSR Magazine.

Customers can also place orders through DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates.

Once the 2,200-square-foot restaurant opens its dining room, customers will be able to enjoy its several big-screen TVs.

“We’re thrilled to make Mountain Mike’s legendary pizza even easier to access and enjoy with the addition of a new Oakland location and are looking forward to the day we can welcome guests into our restaurant to experience our unique dine-in environment,” Khadka said. “Mountain Mike’s has offered carryout and delivery for over 40 years, and we’ve recently added enhanced levels of safety and convenience to our process, like tamper-proof packaging, contactless delivery, as well as adhering to the strictest health and safety guidelines set by the CDC and the State of California to give our guests peace of mind when ordering from Mountain Mike’s.”

Founded in Palo Alto in 1978, the Newport Beach–based Mountain
Mike’s group now has over 200 locations throughout California,
Oregon and Utah.

Los Moles Owner Plans New Walnut Creek Location

Lito Saldana, the owner and chef of Los Moles restaurants in El Cerrito, Emeryville and San Rafael, is now planning to open a new location in Walnut Creek.

Earlier this month, the Walnut Creek City Council approved Saldana’s pursuit of a 10-year lease with two five-year options to occupy the ground floor of the city-owned South Locust Parking Garage, as reported at Patch.

The city of Walnut Creek also negotiated a 20 percent rent reduction for each month during the lease’s first two years in which gross sales amount to less than $200,000, Patch reports.

Featuring 100 percent gluten-free menus including organic eggs, coffee, teas, sugar, milk, agave nectar and handcrafted corn tortillas, Los Moles restaurants specialize in mole sauce, as the name suggests.

A choice of eight different types of mole—house-made in copper pots—augments meat platters, tacos and “enmoladas.” Burritos are served with mole both inside and on top.

Saldana grew up in Jalisco, Mexico, where he was inspired by the culinary skills of his grandmother and other relatives. His award-winning moles include a mole verde containing fresh chile poblano, spinach, cilantro, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Named after Saldana’s mother, his Mama Luisa mole is a relatively light red sauce. His personal favorite is pipián mole—made almost entirely of pumpkin seeds, as reported by VisionHispanaUSA.

He launched El Cerrito’s Los Moles Beer Garden in 2017. All three locations are currently open and offering pickup/delivery.


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