Antioch Coffee Shop has Pandemic-Style Grand Opening

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Bay Area businesses are bracing for more restrictions as the governor has warned many counties may be heading toward a new “deep purple” phase that could include a shelter-at-home order. But amid the uncertainty, an East Bay coffee shop held its grand opening Tuesday. 

Chill Tea and Coffee is hoping to fill a void in downtown Antioch and while they can’t open their doors to the public, the new cafe opened their takeout window -- a pandemic-style grand opening.

“Everybody still needs their cup of coffee,” said Yvette Gomez. “It’s like a hug in a cup.” 

Yvette and her husband Sal already have a successful shop in Brentwood. They’re determined to give it a go in Antioch even as Bay Area businesses face even greater COVID-19 guidelines in the coming days

“It is risky no matter what you do, pre-pandemic, post pandemic current pandemic there’s always a risk but we are confident in what we do,” said Sal. 

The city of Antioch is doing what it can to support small businesses and help keep them afloat. 

“We’re doing our part to make sure the small businesses hurt the most we’re trying to help them as much as we can,” said Kwame Reed, Antioch Economic Development director. 

They’re giving $5,000 grants to 60 local businesses, including RiverTown Sweets Bakery whose owners haven’t only seen a 50% drop in business, but have been grappling with pandemic fueled shortages. 

“Shortage of flour, eggs, butter,” said Stephanie Wilson of RiverTown Sweets. “Last couple of months it’s been vanilla extract receiving that.”

Chill got an outpouring of support on their first day. Customers say they are grateful the owners are willing to take a risk. 

“It's very bold, very bold during this time,” said customer Monica Wilson. “I have to applaud that.”

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