An Update From the O’Donnell Family

The O'Donnell family standing in front of McNear's Restaurant
The O’Donnell family reopens McNear’s and is ready to serve you!

McNear’s Temporarily Closes its Doors

One week after the stay-at-home order went into effect and we chained the doors closed, the O’Donnell family went back to reopen McNear’s, sans the non-familial employees, ready to serve the community we all love so much. 

At McNear’s we make nearly every sauce and dressing from scratch, so when we came into an empty restaurant on the 18th, we had a lot of perishables to get rid of. We had staff come by to pick out veggies, bread, and anything else we couldn’t freeze since we had no idea how long it would be before we reopened. With coolers and walk-ins emptied, scrubbed and sanitized, we all waved goodbye and went home.

The Resurrection of a Restaurant

After a week of regrouping and some number crunching, we rallied the troops of the O’Donnell clan: Ken O’Donnell, wife Carrie, and three of the four O’Donnell children Shennon, Joe and Tom, to come back in and give it a go. The 5 of us were the only ones who prepared the restaurant to open under the new conditions and were the only ones on the “schedule” for the foreseeable future. We basically had to retool many parts of the restaurant to be able to accommodate the new normal for us which is now take-out. We’re not going to lie, the opening had somewhat of a rocky start, and everyone had to work a little outside their comfort zones in order to completely reorganize the way they were used to doing business. But we pulled it off thanks to thankful, gracious, and patient customers.

Ken and Joe’s other restaurant, Seared, was also being operated out of the McNear’s kitchen initially in order to cut down on expenses like utilities and labor. Orders came in for each and we worked (and shouted a little) together through it all.  Two restaurants, one family, a whole lot of work. 

McNear’s Moving Forward

After that first week, operations have moved back to separate kitchens as the order volume became too much to feasibly produce with the quality we insist upon.  Joe is still going back and forth, managing the menus for both McNear’s and Seared, and preparing daily specials, then winding down with the fam (and a manhattan) at the end of the night.

Fortunately, as McNear’s enters the fourth week of pick-up and delivery service, we have been able to put four cooks and three servers back to work. However, the business as a whole is nowhere near what we are used to. We want so badly to be able to bring our entire staff back!  McNear’s is not only run by family but everyone who works here is part of a work-family, and we are all missing being together.  But, as we all adapt our lives to this new normal, and when our income allows, we will be bringing more staff back to get some back-burner projects finally done. Right now our main goal is to get people back to work. We can make money later.

How You Can Support McNear’s & Our Staff

We are changing our menus often due to availability of ingredients and feedback from customers, and are updated online daily. We welcome you to be part of the process! You can order online or over the phone for pickup or through the Petaluma Food Taxi for delivery.

Everyone at McNear’s is committed to providing quality service and community support during this difficult time and we appreciate our customers for their understanding and continual patronage.

We hope you stay safe, and can’t wait to see you again. Cheers!