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Vacaville restaurant Hank & Hazel's opens for the first time during coronavirus pandemic

The Vacaville restaurant decided to open its doors for the first time in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak.

VACAVILLE, Calif. — Months before the coronavirus outbreak, Sarah Harper had dreams of opening “Hank and Hazel’s” with her husband. The couple bought the restaurant on 501 Merchant Street in Vacaville a year ago. 

The grand opening date for the new restaurant was projected for March 17, 2020. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered people across the state to stay at home the day after the grand opening.

“COVID 19 wasn’t a thing," Harper said. "We definitely did not consider that in our business planning."

Hank and Hazel's customers have never been able to dine in the restaurant due to the order.

Harper's team has had to utilize social media to share the day’s menu and have customers practice social distancing while picking up their to-go-orders.

“What were we going to do just sit on the sidelines," questioned Harper. "We had already hired staff we’ve been ramping up and getting ready and so we decided to just go for it and open despite kind of the beginnings of what was going on."

Harper said she has found business success during the coronavirus outbreak. A line of people wraps around the building during lunch hours.

“We’ve been selling out every day and so we are ramping up the orders,” Harper explained.

Harper has no idea how long the stay at home order will last but she believes new businesses can still profit during a time when everything in the world feels like it is in a standstill.

Hank and Hazel’s will remain open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Haper hopes to extend their hours once the stay at home order is lifted.



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