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Few businesses remain open on the Peninsula amid COVID-19 outbreak

Bay Area

MILLBRAE, Calif. (KRON) – Even though most of the Bay Area is shut down because of the coronavirus there are still a few places open, as they are considered essential businesses.

“Everyone’s got to eat,” Erin Burke said.

A worker was doing his best on Tuesday to let drivers on El Camino Real know that the Millbrae Pancake House, a fixture since the Eisenhower administration, is still open for business.  

To comply with the public health order, they’ve thrown together a makeshift drive-thru.

Inside the restaurant the tables are empty, the only people in there, for the most part, are the cooks in the kitchen.

“The first car that drove through this morning everybody cheered and we’re so happy, we’re just trying to get the word out, trying to keep it going,” Erin Burke said.

Erin Burke is one of four sisters still running this family business.  

She says they are doing what they can to help keep their employees working and to continue to feed the community they’ve been serving since 1961.

“We’re only closed on Christmas Day. We’ve never experienced anything like this, so we’re doing the best we can to stay open, to survive and this is the way we’re doing it. We’re open for business every day, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” Burke said.

A different kind of drive-thru was set up today at Foster City Elementary School for parents to pick up their kid’s homework packets to keep them learning during this closure.

The parking lot of Tanforan is a sea of mostly empty spaces.

JCPenny has a sign on their window that they are temporarily closed.

Nearby BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse says they are still open but only for take out either walk-in or online.  

A drive down Broadway in Burlingame shows a few people on the street.

One local resident describes this scene as unbelievable saying he’s never seen so many empty parking spots on what’s considered a blue-collar business strip, not even on a Sunday.

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