• By The Financial District


California officials are continuing to keep a close eye on the food and beverage industry to make sure businesses are following COVID-19 public health guidelines.

KCRA 3 followed agents with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC, as they made surprise drop-ins on restaurants in Midtown Sacramento on Friday night.

"I think it's great. I think they need to do that," said Rick Mahan, owner of Water Boy on Capitol Avenue.

Agents stopped by Water Boy as part of their surprise inspections. The restaurant, which just reopened for outdoor dining only on

"We want people to voluntarily comply with that order, if it does come down to it, we will take action on egregious violations," explained ABC Supervising Agent Luke Blehm. "We do understand [COVID-19] is a hardship on all our businesses, we care about our licensees and we want them to be successful, but we also want them to be safe."

Agents also stopped by Mayahuel, a Mexican restaurant on K Street. After checking to see employees were wearing face masks and customers were seated outdoors, officers also deemed the restaurant was in compliance with public health guidelines. After a brief conversation with the manager, ABC provided additional guidance on how the business could create even more outdoor dining space.

"They are limited by space, and they want to survive, and we want them to survive," Blehm said. "So, we want to do everything we can within the health guidelines that we have, that we've been given, to help them survive."

Officers also checked in on The Zebra Club on P Street. A customer there tested positive for COVID-19 in June. At the time, staff temporarily closed facilities to disinfect the building and also get themselves tested.

KCRA 3 asked staff at The Zebra Club whether any changes had been made since last month.

"You're looking at them," said a bartender who only wished to be identified as "D." "Everyone is being extra sanitary, wearing masks, literally that's all we can do. We're doing everything we can on this side."

Agents also found The Zebra Club was in compliance with state health orders during the surprise check.

In all, agents visited more than 100 locations on Friday night in Sacramento and found not a single violation of the public health order.

Since July, ABC officers have made over 25,000 visits to licensed locations and issued just over 100 citations.