OLD SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Even with the glittering lights and a festive Christmas tree, it’s anything but your average holiday season in Old Sacramento.
“We’re probably operating at 10% of what we were,” said Troy Paski, founder of Hoppy’s Railyard.
Hoppy’s would normally be bustling this time of year. Rooms would be filled with people on a December Saturday night, but in 2020, Paski sits at the bar in his empty business awaiting the next takeout order.
It’s all he can do, per state orders.
“Each week we’ll probably do a little bit better as people get used to the stay-at-home order again,” Paski said.
Just outside, things are a little busier with holiday shoppers and families like the Hopkins enjoying an evening looking at the lights.
“We got to do something,” said Shaun Hopkins. “My kids, my family – we’ve got to do something.”
His wife, Stephanie, said they’re doing all they can to stay safe themselves despite being out. To their family’s surprise, they weren’t the only ones wanting to see the lights.
“We knew people would be out,” Stephanie Hopkins said. “But not this many people walking around.”
Several others were taking in the scenery, too. At nearly every restaurant near the Old Sacramento waterfront, plenty of people ordered food to go, like Bear.
“I would have sat down but walking seems like a better idea right now,” Bear said.
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Restaurants appeared to be following the rules with takeout but some people opted to sit outside at nearby tables, and not take their food home.
This activity isn’t permitted under current state health guidelines.
“You’d think people would listen but they’re not,” Bear said.
But even with many people out on a Saturday night, some are still at home. Business owners like Paski say there will be hope after the holidays.
“The vaccine gets released by Monday,” Paski said. “By March I think we’ll start to see some return to indoor dining in a limited fashion.”
The stay-at-home order went into effect on Friday in the Greater Sacramento region and is in place for the next three weeks – though, many people believe it won’t stop there.