Updated: July 15, 2020 10:36 PM
Created: July 15, 2020 10:31 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico Restaurant Association encouraged business owners to participate in a virtual protest earlier this week demanding indoor dining be reopened, but some restaurant owners are still standing by the governor's public health order.
The Farmacy posted on Facebook saying they, along with a number of other small businesses, support what the governor is doing.
“I saw some restaurants that were kind of up in arms about the governor's decision,” explained Jacob Elliot, owner of the Farmacy. “We believe that her decision is based on science and sound logic, and so we just wanted to throw our support behind her.”
His restaurant had to close for a couple of months. Even though they’re open now, business is still down more than 50 percent.
“The majority of our customers have been great, but there's been the people that we have to police, and tell them that they need to put on a mask and, you know, some customers have left,” Elliot said.
Israel Rivera, owner of The Shop, said it all comes down to safety.
"I have friends who have restaurants who went the other way. You know they want to open, and who am I to tell them that that's wrong, you know what I mean, I don't know. I have no idea. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a biologist, I'm just a cook,” said Israel Rivera, owner of The Shop. “It boils down to how terrible I would feel if me or one of my staff got sick.”
Rivera has relied on social media, expanding to take home dinners, to pay the bills.
“Right now my goal isn't to make money, it's just to stay open. And so, we've been super lucky that we've had such an awesome community who want to support us, who want us to make it through,” said Rivera.
They’re thankful for the support from their community including other owners who have shared advice on how to keep businesses running during this tough time.
“I think the main message is that you just have to be willing to sacrifice a little to get us back to where we all need to be, you know,” explained Elliot.
“We’re super lucky that a lot of the chefs here in town are friends you know we all know each other, we're all kind of communicate with each other and so we bounce ideas off each other,” said Rivera. “Let’s really figure this out trying to keep ourselves afloat.”
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