South Bay comic store owner stocks 'essential' supplies in order to reopen business

Merchants in Santa Clara County have the green light to reopen on Friday with curbside sales at non-essential stores. All the other Bay Area counties have already started Phase Two, but the South Bay was hit hard by the coronavirus and is just beginning to relent from the strictest stay-at-home rules.

At Romantiques in Los Gatos, owner Susan Testa is displaying new merchandise in her windows hoping to attract customers to browse and shop.

“I’m super happy we are finally getting to this point,” said Testa.

Starting Friday, Santa Clara County will permit curbside pick-up, which is a move other counties in the Bay Area have already taken and more. Napa and Solano Counties can now offer indoor dining.

“It’s frustrating to watch other counties open,” said Testa.

“We are itching, we are chomping at the bit to get to that next point,” said Catherine Somers of the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce.

The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce argues the town could move faster in the state’s reopening plan.

“I wish the county could parse out the different municipalities like the state does with the counties,” said Somers. “We have not been a hotspot.”

Santa Clara County health officials amended the county’s public health order. Starting Friday, certain retailers from toys to clothing can start curbside sales. Face coverings are required at any business and on public transit. Car parades are also allowed.

Officials eased restrictions since the number of new coronavirus cases is going down and the number of hospitalizations is also declining.

The owner of SpaceCat in San Jose doesn’t agree with the new order. He’s converting his comic book store into a convenience store. Twenty percent of his floor space is now filled with essential items. He plans to have shoppers come inside on Friday.

“The important thing is that the business stays safe,” said Tritch. “It’s not so much important what they sell. It's are your safe, we are safe, we will always be safe.”