Created: April 01, 2020 09:58 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— An Albuquerque restaurant that has called the Duke City home for four decades is closing its doors for good. The Cooperage at Lomas and Louisiana announced their permanent closure.
“Every day it was just one loss after another loss,” said Cicilia Martinez, general manager and partner of The Cooperage. “It just kept spiraling. The caterings we had, the weddings that were getting postponed.”
The Cooperage has been around since 1976. It's a local staple known for its catering, beef, and massive salad bar.
“It was really a boast to the town,” said Martinez. “Maybe even bigger than that.”
But the coronavirus has put much of life on hold, and businesses can only hold on for so long. With those doors closed, Martinez said the bills were still piling up. She said they don’t believe they would be able to recover whenever the crisis comes to an end.
“You have to look at it and say ‘Well how far down can we go before we cannot bring ourselves back out of the well?’ That’s a decision we had to make,” said Martinez.
A decision to close the Cooperage building for good.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of trying to be optimistic and strong for the people that you just care so much about and just trying to hold yourself together,” said Martinez.
She said they will still cater in some capacity, and stick with the catering contracts they already have with clients, but they will no longer be operating out of their building.
Martinez said letting her employees and guests know was the hardest part.
“It was heart wrenching and when they came to see you, they needed a hug, and you couldn't give them one,” she said. “I needed a hug back and I couldn't get one. It’s very emotional. This is what they do. This is a field they chose. They are hard-working dedicated people.”
Martinez said they also donated a bunch of food to organizations and employees.
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