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Ripon restaurants switch to outdoor dining
The outdoor seating area at The Vault and Taste That Matters in downtown Ripon will continue to be an outdoor dining option.

It was Day 1 Tuesday of the return to the purple tier in Ripon.

The previous day Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that a number of counties including San Joaquin were placed on the most restrictive COVID-19 classification.

"That hurts us," said Ripon Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kelly Donohue, referring to the local businesses such as restaurants and fitness studios.

Outdoor dining was still an option but the cold and wet weather change could make it tough on some. Especially outdoor places without the portable heating systems, Donohue added.

Businesses in town were just getting comfortable in limiting customers to 25 percent capacity for indoor dining.  That was until the news from the state on once again tightening of the restrictions.

Donohue is recommending ways to continue supporting businesses during these tough times by encouraging folks to order to-go at the eateries and to purchase gift cards.

The Ripon Chamber of Commerce, in addition, is going ahead with plans on Saturday to welcome a new business in Klean Eatz Market and Bakery at the grand opening event.

Donohue described the locally-owned business at 222 W. River Rd. in the Terrazza Shopping Center as a healthier eating alternative with a further boost coming from local farmers. The latter will be on the Market patio from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to meet and chat on what they're bringing to the shelves.

Klean Eatz will follow al CDC guidelines, from wearing masks to social distancing, when doors open at 8 a.m.