Early in the pandemic, MHDA created a GoFundMe page that raised funds that were distributed equally to participating restaurants

By David Dindak

David Dindak in the ‘vault’ of the downtown wine bar.

The Morgan Hill Downtown Association accomplished a lot in 2020 even though our main events were cancelled. We communicated continually with our members in providing updated and fluid health directives and information from our government leaders. We informed the community via this column, our weekly newsletter, and also revamped our website for easy navigation.

Early in the pandemic, we created a GoFundMe page that raised funds that were distributed equally to participating restaurants. We congratulated community graduates via large banners along the Monterey corridor median, decorated the downtown with Independence Day buntings, and spotlighted our members in social media posts. The Christmas tree was lit once again, and a well-received holiday video was created with wishes for everyone in the community from local first responders and healthcare professionals. We worked and reworked our two major events chasing COVID restrictions, but sadly both had to be cancelled.  However, we created a new event last year — a Classic Car Cruise with the coolest cars in town rumbling up and down the Monterey Road. Last but not least, we were able to keep the downtown twinkle lights on. Thanks to everyone who worked so diligently throughout on all these projects.

Things are looking up in 2021. Starting Jan. 25, restaurants were permitted to open outdoor dining.  We’re already seeing a community, tired of being pent up in the house, visit downtown eateries that have twisted and turned with every health department directive to keep you fed, warm and safe. Salons were given the greenlight to open as well. So, get that haircut, color and perm done already — you’re probably looking pretty straggly! And remember to stop by Royal Clothiers, Jewel Box, Studio 38 Designs, Bike Therapy, Pono Wellness and Silva Construction. They’ll be looking out for you.

The MHDA board held its annual retreat Feb. 1. With COVID-19 projections looking pretty good, hopefully, with clear skies and the wind at our back, the target date for the Wine, Art & Music Stroll is Saturday, June 6. We’ll also be working on a Food & Wine week as well. The target date for the Brew Crawl is Saturday, Sept. 11, and Sunday, Oct. 17, for the Classic Car Cruise. We’re also mulling over a Car Show that day as well, so pencil us in on those dates, and more details will follow.

To entice the community to visit downtown and stay a while, a boost is going to come from Ladera Grill owners Dan and Kathy McCranie who are building a fine art gallery. We hope to see visitors from across the Bay Area. This modern building will be located at Monterey Road and Second Street. Since approval in December, the architect, contractor, and design teams are working on securing city building permits. Groundbreaking will be this October with completion in October 2022. Good luck you guys!

We are all suffering in some way from the pandemic. However, healthcare professionals are one group that has been working tirelessly for nearly a year, saving lives while risking their own physical and mental health. The double exposure to both the virus, and the emotional and physical exhaustion that comes from coping with life-and-death situations faced by their fellow citizens takes its toll.

Additionally, local restaurants that contribute to both jobs and the economy, have been struggling to stay open.

The Morgan Hill Community Foundation and the MHDA have undertaken a new project, Meals For Heroes, to express gratitude to these healthcare professionals while simultaneously helping support our local restaurants. We are raising funds that will compensate our distressed restaurants fairly for preparing free meals for St. Louise Hospital and De Paul Center healthcare workers.  So, it’s a win-win situation.

You can help by donating, delivering meals, or joining as a participating restaurant. Every little bit, from our personal piggy banks to our business community, helps.

In order to donate electronically, visit the donation page at www.fs25.formsite.com/MHCF/Meals/index.html, or

  1. Visit morganhillcf.org.
  2. Click on the MHCF Meals For Heroes Program
  3. Click on “Donate” to offer your donation.

To donate by check:

  1. Make checks payable to MHCF with your offering.
  2. Write Meals For Heroes in the memo line.
  3. Send to: MHCF, P.O. Box 1974, Morgan Hill, CA 95038

If you own a restaurant, and want to participate but have not yet been contacted, reach out to [email protected], or Carolyn Wallace at [email protected] who is coordinating delivery volunteers.

Meals For Heroes is the brainchild of Cecily Murray, owner of the soon to be expanding medical facility on Juan Hernandez Drive in Morgan Hill.  Thank you, Cecily, for the great idea and your assistance in launching this program. Thanks to MHDA liaison Councilman John McKay for bringing the project together … and special thanks to Morgan Hill Community Foundation.

David Dindak is the president of the MHDA board of directors and co-owner of Bubbles and Brew.


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