This commentary was contributed by an informal group of small business owners downtown Hollister. See names of businesses below. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors. BenitoLink invites all community members to share their ideas and opinions. You can write counter opinions or share your insights on current issues by emailing Noe Magaña at and following our Terms of Use.  Lea este articulo en español aquí.

As the name suggests, “Small” Business means the owner is, most likely…. working.
So, to see around 18 Hollister downtown business owners together at the Oct.
17 meeting was an unusual treat. Thanks to the Hollister City Manager, David Mirrione
and Development Services Director, Christine Hopper, the Downtown Business Forum
was set up to listen/discuss parklets and signage. 

Since this was a rare occasion, many topics couldn’t help but come up. The energy was
good – downtown business owners related to one another – especially having gone
through the pandemic. Some store fronts have parklets and some do not.  We listened
to the benefits of having the parklets, from economic contributions to creating a more
walkable downtown. For the ones that do not have parklets, they voiced losing parking
spaces, as well as being hidden behind the parklets. 
Ideas began floating on how businesses can help each other, like creating a
map/directory to share with customers about neighboring businesses, signs could be
placed on the parklets for the businesses that are hidden, and maybe visit the idea of
shifting parklets that are not being used.  

Besides addressing many Q & A, Christine Hopper passed out “A-Frame Sign”
information packets, to help store owners become familiar with the existing ordinance
that allows businesses to put out “A-Frame Signs.” David Mirrione shared new ABC
regulations and parklet signage discussion points. In conclusion, he said that he would
present the collective conversations to the City Council at the Nov. 6th meeting, with

Downtown store front owners have great hopes that signage can be posted on the
parklets again (to help identify and promote businesses), and the structures can be
simply decorated – in time for the festive holidays. Additionally important, businesses
need to know (from the City of Hollister) what the future of the parklets will be. Business
investments, along with employment needs, are decided 3 months in advance (at the
very least). A prompt and definitive resolution is essential to business stability,
empowerment, and growth. We hope all these factors will be considered in the final
decision making.

Within the 1 ½ hours scheduled meeting, we became more excited to keep
collaborating for a better downtown. The consensus was that the downtown businesses
would like the parklets to stay, and that all businesses should help in ‘getting the word
out’ about businesses without parklets – including businesses that are on the side
streets.  We agreed that more productive meetings will help generate positive impacts
to our downtown/community.

(*On 10/22, Mr. Mirrione updated us that AB 1217 extended the COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization until 7/1/ 2026).

Contributing businesses:

Mad Pursuit Brewing Company  

Crave Wine Company  

La Catrina Mexican Grill  

The Baler Steakhouse  

Buenos Dias Cafecito  

Worth Saving – The ReStore 

Irma’s Fashions 

The Garden Shoppe & Bar 

Country Rose Cafe 

Ohana Shave Ice  

Heavenly Bakery  

Bene Gifts  

Bill’s Bullpen Baseball Cards & Comics  

Las Micheladas Bar & Grill  

Farmhouse Café  

Only The Honorable Tattoo Shop  

Paine’s Restaurant 

Morrell and Company Real Estate  

Elements Investment Properties