Local restaurants have long been a vibrant part of Marina’s character and, right now, they are ready to transport you to far-flung places while you shelter in place. Restaurant owners have set up strict safety precautions, including gloves and masks for their workers, curbside pick-up, and physical distancing procedures.
At El Palmar Mexican restaurant, a Marina institution for almost 20 years, customers must order over the phone, and can wait in their cars for pickup. They allow only one customer in the restaurant at a time, where everyone wears a face mask and gloves in the kitchen. Employees interacting with customers dispose of gloves after each customer. In short, safety has become a top priority at this family run eatery.
The City of Marina has teamed up with local volunteers and CSUMB College of Business students to create an updated list of open restaurants, their location, hours of operation, contact information, and delivery options. The students came together in their Entrepreneurship class, where their class project was an app to help people order takeout. When the pandemic hit, they quickly pivoted, in true entrepreneurial fashion. Senior Payton Trimm explained, “It would be a shame if our favorite restaurants were forced to shut down.”
Clearly, Trimm is not alone in wanting to support Marina’s restaurants. Dezen Chan, who has managed the popular Chinese restaurant Ho Wah for the past 6 years, spoke of the incredible generosity of her customers. Some, who paid for meals for front-line workers, inspired Chan to do the same; she began matching her customers’ donated meals with her own, which she delivers to hospitals, police, and others. “Customers are touching our hearts. I don’t know how to say thank you to them,” she said.
Working with Kathy Biala, a member of the Marina Planning Commission and fellow fan of local restaurants, students called restaurants to get their current hours and posted news on Facebook. Marketing major Haley DiLeo was surprised to find so many restaurants still serving customers. “It’s easy to go stir crazy; these restaurants let your taste buds travel the world!”
To see the list of updated hours now posted and maintained on the City of Marina website, go to
The student Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/marina.restaurants.3
This article was contributed by Jennifer Kuan, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics at the College of Business at CSUMB.
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