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EUREKA – Eureka is a close-knit community. South Central Avenue is made up of mom and pop shops that are trying to stay afloat during this COVID-19 crisis.

Mayor Sean Flower was concerned curbside and delivery food services would not be enough to keep these independent restaurants operating, so he stepped in and made the decision to pass an executive order that allows restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages. 

South Central Avenue has been through a lot in the past 10 years. Several floods have put a pause on business and now the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tim Umbarger is the co-owner of Sarah’s on Central. He is extremely grateful this order has been passed – for his sake and the sake of all the independently owned restaurants on the street. 

“I think it’s outstanding. Mayor Flower is probably one of the most connected, grounded, business understanding people in public office,” said Umbarger. “When he understood that people could have a full bar and a full restaurant with $10,000 worth of inventory that they’ve already paid for that they can’t sell, he crafted the executive order relaxing the state liquor laws for the time being.” 

Customers can order online or over the phone, pick up their food and drinks, or have it delivered directly to their homes. Restaurants are still responsible for ID-ing their customers, but Mayor Flower thinks this system is a good way to keep indulgers safe off of the roads and comfortable in their own homes.

“I have not had anybody say anything but thanks. I have had a lot of calls from restaurants outside of Eureka commenting that they’re approaching their local governments to do it,” Flower said. 

In such a crucial time, Eureka is coming together and supporting their own. 

Umbarger got emotional when talking about the community.

“I will add this about Eureka and it’s very emotional for me. I would not want to live anywhere else. The community here is absolutely fantastic. The way they support and chip in – everyone is all hands on deck,” he said.

Other cities could possibly be hopping on board in the near future. As of now, no other cities have confirmed they will approve the same order.