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Eatery blames drop in sales on city banner policy
Fired Up Grill2.jpg
Owners and managers of the Fired Up Grill, 1778 Mitchell Road Suite 206, seen here during a ribbon cutting last summer, are complaining that business has been terrible since being unable to fly pennant banners outside their eatery due to city sign restrictions.

Two representatives of Fired Up Grill & Meal Prep told the Ceres City Council that business at their eatery has fallen by 43 percent since temporary banners were removed because the city allows them only on a limited basis.

Mike Ferreira cited a drop in business because the Mitchell Road eatery had to take down the colorful plastic flags drawing attention to traffic. 

“It’s a concern especially being in business in a shopping center which does not have a visible marque of any such business that’s located in the shopping center,” said Ferreira. He admitted going in “blind” to the fact that the center had no signage.

“Since we had to take our banners down three or four weeks ago we actually went down about 44 percent in sales just in foot traffic alone, which is a huge hit to a new business, “ he said. “You know, first year is detrimental to a new business’s health. And we employ 15-16 local kids that never would have had a job …”

Manager David Lawson complained the location of the former El Rosal Restaurant is not a spot “that people like to endure” and said drivers on Mitchell Road have “tunnel vision” and drive past businesses without something calling attention to them. He also said trees block vision of businesses.

New businesses are allowed to put up banners for a grand opening period but cannot post banners indefinitely.

“If every store front did that then all you would see would be banners going down Mitchell and would anyone really pay attention to yours if there were seven more next to them?” asked Vice Mayor Linda Ryno.

She invited the business to come back in June and provide input as the council discusses the sign ordinance during an update of the Ceres Municipal Code.