Edward Smith" />

Food service businesses are exploring new revenue streams that may have been an afterthought before the current pandemic.

published on June 18, 2021 - 3:26 PM
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A booster club years in the making hopes to create more visibility and connect people to Downtown Fresno businesses. And the network of volunteers comes at a time downtown businesses hope to draw more people as they are allowed to operate again.

The Downtown Booster Squad held its first official meeting Thursday with about 30 people in attendance, according to Jordan Sanchez, chair of the Downtown Fresno Foundation.

The idea was to reconnect with the nearly 320 graduates of the Downtown Fresno Partnership’s Downtown Academy, which has graduated nearly 40 people annually over the past eight years of its existence.

Those boosters would volunteer and provide general support for events in downtown.

The plan is to establish connections between Downtown Fresno and the rest of the city, said Sanchez. Boosters would be available to answer questions and let people know about events happening downtown via Facebook and Instagram.

“It’s a way for people to be more engaged,” said Sanchez. “It’s for the people who think there’s nothing going on downtown.”

One of the next events in Downtown Fresno is the first of four block parties in what’s come to be called the Brewery District.

Through a partnership with Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co., Full Circle Brewing Co., The Modernist and Fresno Street Eats, Fulton Street will be closed between Inyo and Mono streets, uniting the different partners. The intent is to have a weekly event on Saturdays, said Mike Osegueda, president of Fresno Street Eats. Food trucks will line Fulton Street.

The next planned event will be the opening of Fig & Honey, one of Downtown’s newest businesses, which serves charcuterie boards in the T.W. Patterson Building on Fulton Street.

The goal is to make a reason to go downtown, said Osegueda, calling it a “crucial part of the narrative.”

“Give them an experience they’re not getting anywhere else,” Osegueda said.

The creation of the booster squad also comes at a time the Downtown Fresno Partnership’s status as a Property-Based Improvement District is up for renewal. In January 2022, property owners within the boundaries of the PBID will vote whether to continue to tax themselves to fund the organization that focuses on marketing and maintenance. The Downtown Fresno Partnership was created Jan. 1, 2011 and was last approved for renewal in 2015, according to downtownfresno.org.

“We’re hoping this provides people the resources and the means to make their vision for Downtown come true as well,” said Sanchez.

Correction: This story was updated to show that Fig & Honey is located on Fulton Street.

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