Closures continue to impact Santa Clarita businesses

Local Starbucks locations are implementing a "Grab-and-Go" policy where their stores remain open for take-out customers only. March 16, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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The day after Los Angeles County officials ordered the closure of bars and restaurants, a number of Santa Clarita closures also followed suit.

While the Westfield Valencia Town Center is choosing to remain open under modified hours, many retailers have decided to close.

Of the approximately 175 retailers and restaurants, already 17 have decided to fully close as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, including the Apple Store, House of Bounce, Starbucks and the Regal Edwards Valencia. 

In fact, all 543 Regal Cinemas locations in the U.S., which includes Santa Clarita’s only two theaters, will also close as of Tuesday until further notice, the chain announced Monday afternoon.

“Westfield Valencia remains open and operating so that retailers are able to serve the broader community and their customers during this unprecedented global pandemic; and so that we continue to support the local economy, ensuring that critical products and services are available to those who need them,” read a statement from Westfield.

The center’s temporary minimum retail hours are expected to be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Current Westfield closures include: 

  • Macy’s closed all stores through March 31.
  • Regal Edwards Cinemas closed all locations until further notice. 
  • Apple Store closed all retail stores outside of greater China until March 27.
  • Sephora closed all retail stores until April 3.
  • LUSH Cosmetics closed its North American stores until March 29.
  • BareMinerals closed its doors for at least two weeks.
  • American Eagle closed all of its stores, including Aerie, in the U.S. and Canada until at least March 27.
  • Foot Locker closed all stores until March 31.
  • H&M closed all of its stores across the U.S. and Canada until April 2.
  • Lululemon closed its stores in North America and Europe until March 27.
  • Vans closed all of its stores across North America through April 5.
  • Free People is closed until at least March 28.
  • Gymboree Play & Music is closed until further notice.
  • Hollister Co. closed all its stores outside of the Asia-Pacific region until March 28.
  • House of Bounce is closed until further notice.
  • Ivy Day Spa is closed until further notice.
  • Pom Paperie is closed until further notice.
  • Relax Station is closed until further notice.
  • Saddle Ranch Chop Shop is closed until further notice.
  • Starbucks at the Westfield Valencia Town Center is closed until further notice.
  • Steve Madden is closed until further notice.
  • Bath & Body Works is closed until further notice.
  • The Body Shop is closed until further notice.
  • Victoria’s Secret closed all retail locations in the U.S. and Canada through March 29.
  • Chico’s closed stores through March 31.
  • Disney Store is closed until further notice.
  • The Bunker Hill Bar & Grill is closed until further notice.
  • T-Mobile closed around 80% of its company-owned retail stores until at least March 31.

Though many Westfield businesses have closed, others have chosen to remain open, such as Sharky’s Woodfire Mexican Grill, who are now offering takeout, as well as free delivery. 

“We really want to do whatever we can to stay open for the community,” owner Noah Alvarez said. “So, until they put us on lockdown, we are going to stay open.” 

Still, the business has had to significantly cut its labor force, putting many employees out of work.

“I’m running the front basically by myself, while I have a general manager and kitchen manager in back (preparing food),” Alvarez said. “Still, we’re trying to give days to as many people as we can, so I have one other person in front with me and a couple cooks coming in at night.” 

Sharky’s has partnered with WeGo Inc., a Santa Clarita-based delivery service that provides delivery, courier and messenger services for restaurants, retail stores and commercial businesses.

To help local small businesses, WeGo is offering free food and product delivery throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. 

Drivers are local residents who are trained to handle food delivery, many of whom are actually out-of-work restaurant servers, according to WeGo officials. 

Similarly, Las Rocas Bar and Grill in Castaic is offering no-fee delivery service, curbside pickups and to-go orders under reduced hours. 

Owner Maria Fernandez said the directive has affected her business and employees tremendously.

“It’s been really rough,” she said. “We had to let go of almost everybody.” 

The restaurant only has two cooks and three employees in front, who are taking orders and doing the deliveries themselves, each day.

“They’re taking turns so everybody has a few hours,” Fernandez added. “And only the ones that depend on this job (are working).” 

Earthbaby Boutique in Newhall also had to reduce its staff, though owner Renee Kennedy is doing what she can to remain open for her customers. 

“When you only have pregnant mothers, women who just had babies or senior citizens as customers (it’s hard),” Kennedy said. “Basically, our whole clientele can’t go outside. So, we’re trying to stay open only because our customers need essentials they can’t find elsewhere right now.” 

She and her one remaining employee have been traveling between her two stores here in Newhall and in Sherman Oaks, opening each for only three hours a day. 

The shop is still stocked with most essentials, including diapers, formula, shampoo, wipes and clothing, as well as deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes and more for all ages, while they’re offering both phone and online orders, curbside pickup and free, same-day delivery. 

Earthbaaby also offers classes for learning how to use cloth diapers and wipes, which she said couldn’t be better for these times. 

Still, the business has been struggling to make ends meet. “It’s been really slow on Main Street for the last two months, so this really hit us all when we’re at our lowest… I don’t know how I’m going to pay (my employees) on Friday to be honest.” 

In addition, Earthbaby is collecting donations of any essentials, which are expected to be donated to Single Mothers Outreach and other moms or organizations who cannot afford them.

For a map of the Santa Clarita Valley restaurants and food establishments that are open and serving, visit bit.ly/SCVfoodmap. If you’d like to be added, please let us know by contacting [email protected].

To view all coronavirus-related stories, visit signalscv.com/category/news/coronavirus.

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