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Figuring out what to eat for dinner is getting harder these days.

As of Monday, shopping at local grocery stores can be somewhat frustrating. Many items, especially those with long shelf life, are picked over, while fresh fruits and vegetables seem to be faring better.

Paper products, however, remain to be a source of contention. There one minute, gone the next.

Bread can be more readily found than was in the early COVID-19 days; however, lunch meat and cheese is scarce.

Lines are often long even though the grocery store checkers are working harder than ever. This appears to be the new norm.

Although they seem to have their hands full, all chains are running at full capacity at this time, unlike our favorite restaurants.

While the doors may be closed in eateries across town, the kitchens are still open for take-out or delivery at many dining establishments.

In an attempt to keep ahead of the spread of the virus, local restaurant owners are coming up with new ways to keep our families fed in these times of trouble.

For instance, the iconic Kelcy's Restaurant, located at 110 W. Tehachapi Blvd, is now open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and features a new updated menu. Owner Virginia Sheridan said she is accepting telephone orders for take-out only, and like many other restaurants throughout Tehachapi, will deliver the food curbside.

Red House BBQ, located at 426 E. Tehachapi Blvd., is also accepting take-out orders, and serving the food curbside or across the street in the parking lot of its sister restaurant, The Shed, located at 333 E. Tehachapi Blvd. The Shed remains shuttered at this time; however, owner Mano Lujan said he still plans to open the facility for to-go orders sometime in the future.

According to Lujan, Red House BBQ offers a 10 percent discount to local diners. On weekends, the restaurant features curbside grilling entrees.

The Tehachapi Restaurant Xpress, which offers delivery services for both fast-food as well as local diners in addition to grocery store shopping, first became available to local folks three years ago. According to Tim Ozenne, founder, he and his workers have worked every day since his internet site has been up and running. Lately, however, his days have become increasingly busy as delivery service has been in high demand.

According to Ozenne, Tehachapi Restaurant Xpress takes orders directly for take-out or groceries.

"It's easier if they order through us, so we can manage the time better," said Ozenne.

Tehachapi Restaurant Xpress can be reached by calling or texting 379-4105, or by visiting tehachapiexpress.com and is available for delivery seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Delivery fees are $6 for Tehachapi and Golden Hills, Alpine is $8 to $10, and Bear Valley and Stallion Springs is $15. Payment can be made through cash or credit card.

"We pay for the food first, and we just add the delivery fee," said Ozenne.

According to Ozenne, all drivers take precautions by using hand sanitizer and limiting direct contact with customers.

Said Ozenne, "I'm just trying to help the community and the restaurants stay afloat."

Although the local bars are closed, vineyards continue to offer take-out food as well as spirits to their customers. Participating vineyards include Triassic Family Vineyards and Tehachapi Wine and Cattle Company.

Restaurant closures

In order to keep the community safe, two local restaurants announced they were closing their doors for all services temporarily.

On Sunday, P-Dubs Grille and Bar posted on its Facebook page the following:

"Unfortunately, the possibility of the virus has hit close to home for our family, and in order to not risk any kind of spreading, we have asked our staff and family to self quarantine until test results are back with a definite answer. There are no showing symptoms at this time, the testing is purely to ensure we are doing our absolute best to make sure our staff, our customers, our family and our community stay safe. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this tough time. We hope to reopen Thursday as the results should be back on Wednesday."

Also on Sunday, Ichiban Sushi, located at 675 Tucker Road, also posted it was closing its doors effective Monday until further notice.

To find out more about what your favorite restaurant offers, call them directly, as menus and hours and services continue to change to best serve the community.