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Citrus Heights businesses struggle, adapt to life amid virus crisis

Gilberto’s Tacos, at 7150 Auburn Blvd., has remained open during coronavirus mitigation efforts. // CH Sentinel

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Updated 9:39 a.m., March 31–
Sentinel staff report– While many businesses remain shuttered in Citrus Heights, others have adapted to life during the COVID-19 health crisis in various ways. For some, business is booming, while others struggle with lower demand as residents comply with shelter-in-place health orders.

Grocery Outlet in Citrus Heights is among local businesses that are keeping busy amid the crisis, along with Sacramento Black Rifle, a gun shop located at the corner of Greenback Lane and Fair Oaks Boulevard.

Last week, the gun shop posted on social media that they were “completely overwhelmed with first time buyers” and shared a photo of the only two remaining 9mm handguns left in the store. By Wednesday, the shop said a new shipment had arrived. About a dozen customers were observed outside the store waiting for their turn to enter on Saturday.

Ciro’s Pizza at Sylvan Corners is among businesses in the region that have adapted their standard menu during the current crisis, selling eggs by the dozen and gallons of milk through its online ordering option — in addition to pizzas. The pizza shop is also offering “no-contact” curbside pickup, and a “make your own” pizza kit for $12.

Pastor’s Valero Gas Station at the corner of Old Auburn Road and Sunrise Boulevard announced last week that it is offering free full service fill-ups from 8-10 a.m. each day for anyone who is immunocompromised or age 65 and older.

Java Cherry on Van Maren Lane remains open for take-out and phone orders. The coffee shop’s owner, Louise Hansen-Cordray, said business is slower, but her regular customers have continued to drop in, and she’s also picked up some new customers who have stopped by her shop while out for a walk.

Gilberto’s Tacos on Auburn Boulevard has also remained open during shelter-in-place orders, closing off its dining area to customers, but allowing take-out orders and delivery through Postmates. A cashier on Friday said business has been “up and down” for the past week.

Nearby, Citrus Heights Saw & Mower remains open, with owner Gary Cook telling The Sentinel his shop has been servicing the needs of fire departments and construction customers, as well as homeowners who are doing yard cleanups while off work.

He described demand as “not like it should be,” but said hours of operation remain the same. Asked when he hopes business will return to normal, Cook immediately said, “tomorrow.”

The mower shop owner said the city had also contacted him to ask whether his business remained open. The city has launched a “shop local” campaign during the coronavirus crisis and is compiling a list of essential businesses and restaurants that are posted at

The city has also adapted to the times, announcing Tuesday that building inspectors are now offering video inspections through Skype calls, as a way to maintain social distancing. The city’s Thursday night council meeting was also entirely conducted through video conferencing, with no council members physically present at City Hall.

What’s open? City publishes list of essential businesses open in Citrus Heights

The city also said last week that its controversial ban on temporary signage will not be enforced during the current state of emergency. “We welcome you to use banners or A-frame signs to let the community know you are open,” the city said in an update online.

As an indication that business may be normalizing for some, Grocery Outlet said in a video update Saturday that the store’s supplies are “almost back to normal,” with the exception of toilet paper and flour.

Crepes & Burgers on Auburn Boulevard also announced plans to re-open for to-go orders on Saturday, citing customer demand as the reason. The restaurant had previously said on March 19 that it would be closed for three weeks.

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