Restaurant owners grapple with impending re-closures | KOB 4

Restaurant owners grapple with impending re-closures

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: July 13, 2020 06:23 AM
Created: July 12, 2020 10:08 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The state's reopening will officially move backwards starting Monday after the governor announced that indoor restaurant dining would be banned again. Dining will be restricted to patio-only at 50 percent capacity.

Restaurants like La Salita are quickly building a temporary patio, so they can still stay in business.

"So, as you see right now, our landlord has been very gracious to allow us to build a temporary patio outdoor space," said Stephanie Eddings, with La Salita.

The second-generation, family-owned restaurant moved to a new location on Juan Tabo in part because of the spacious dining room, which the governor has ordered to close.

"It was kind of just like your heart sinks into your stomach," Eddings said.

Eddings said they brought back nearly their whole staff of 30 people. Now, they're hoping the new shutdown won't force layoffs again.

"We are survivors, so if something is going to change, our livelihood will do what we have to do to adapt," Eddings said.

Plenty of customers flocked to restaurants and breweries to grab a last-minute pint and a meal before the re-closure.

"I mean hopefully not more than two or three months," said Marlon Lansford, a customer. "So we wanted to go out and eat before we couldn't do it."

O'Neill's Pub manager Sean Fleming said he had a feeling this would happen. Ultimately, he said it's about safety.

"We're always in the public eye, and we want our public eye to see that we are fighting for our community. We are keeping my staff safe, myself safe because we all go home to somebody," Fleming said.

Both La Salita and O'Neills said they will obey the new public health order. 

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