Drive thrus make a comeback in Sonoma County amid pandemic

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The pandemic has us in a time warp of sorts, at least when it comes to the retro ’50s and 60s drive-thru. Thanks to social distancing, once again the car has become king.

But this time around it’s not because Americans’ impatience craved efficiency. This time Americans — and particularly those in Sonoma County — are as hungry for safety as they are a burger and fries. And their cars are the most powerful shield they have to protect themselves from the reach of the coronavirus.

Well-insulated in their automobiles, customers don’t seem to mind a crawl of traffic.

At Dutch Brothers Coffee in Santa Rosa the drive-thru, with a stretch of cars, is two lanes deep. Meanwhile Wicked Slush in Healdsburg also has a steady flow of cars through its newly reconfigured drive-thru lane. And at El Roy’s Taco Truck, a permanent fixture in Petaluma, people wait in their cars rather than in line until their name is called.

From BMWs to Chevy pickups and everything in between, people are sheltering in cars as they ride out this pandemic.

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