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Manteca may allow food trucks at bars during duration of pandemic emergency
food truck aloha
One of the food trucks at Manteca’s Library Park.

Manteca‘s elected leaders may provide the city’s six bars that have been forced to close due to the pandemic a way to reopen.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider authorizing City Manager Miranda Lutzow as the acting COVID-19 Local Disaster Director to expand the city’s temporary food truck pilot program to include bars, brew pubs, and wine tasting rooms for the duration of the declared pandemic emergency.

If they do so and Lutzow implements the change it would meet  state edicts that bars, brew pubs and wine tasting rooms cannot open unless they serve food that constitutes a meal and the alcoholic beverage is sold with that transaction.

By serving meals with an alcoholic beverage as an added item bars and such would fall under the same guidelines the state has for restaurants.

Food trucks have been operating in concert with bars, brew pubs and wine tasting rooms in other parts of California during the pandemic.

No county except for Los Angeles County has balked at the food truck add on as a work-around the state’s rules about bars during the pandemic. Los Angeles County requires bars to have an on-site kitchen and not a food truck in order to open.

Under the state’s current stay-at-home orders outdoor dining is banned throughout the San Joaquin Valley region including Manteca. That would mean the only way bars and such could reopen is if food along with alcoholic beverages are sold for take-out or delivery.

A move back into the four-tier system that could come as early as three weeks from now if ICU bed capacity reaches 15 percent or higher, would mean a food truck operating in tandem with a bar would allow such a place to open with outside seating as part of the purple tier.

The next less severe tier of red would restaurants as well as bars serving food to operate indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. The orange tier and least restrictive tier of yellow would restrict indoor dining to 50 percent capacity with cap on the actual numbers of 100 and 200 respectively.

The city’s pilot food truck program has been limited to having the vendors park along the southern terminus of Poplar Avenue on the north side of Library Park.

The council will conduct a Zoom meeting due to the pandemic.

Tuesday’s meeting that starts at 7 p.m. can viewed being livestreamed over the city’s website or on Comcast Channel 97.

There are four ways you can comment on an item.

*The first is eComment where you call up the agenda on the city’s website. New users will need to follow instructions to make an account. The comments are made by going down the agenda on the website and clicking on the eComment icon. Only one comment is allowed per agenda items of up to 500 words. Any eComment can be at any time up to the item being heard by the council.

*Emailing a comment to up until two hours before the meeting. Comments 250 words and under will be read into the record while those over 250 words will be made a part of the official record but not publically read.

*Mail comments to the City Clerk’s office at 1001 W. Center St, Ste. B, Manteca, CA, 95337 that is received up to two hours before the meeting start. The same email word rules apply.

*Hand delivered comments to the city clerk’s door drop slot no later than two hours prior to the meeting. The same email world rules apply.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt$