Albuquerque restaurant plans on waiting until staff is vaccinated before opening indoor dining

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The Shop Breakfast and Lunch will not reopen indoor dining despite being allowed to under the current COVID-19 restrictions.

"We’re such a small organization, you know, there’s only four of us working here now, and, you know, so like if we were to do indoor dining and one of us was to get sick, we’re all sick," said Israel Rivera, owner of the restaurant.

It’s not the first time the restaurant decided to keep indoor dining closed.

"When dine-in has opened up in the past, our business drops, because like, people want to go dine-in which is fine, you know, but we’re still doing enough to keep the lights on and that’s that’s our whole goal right now," Rivera said.

Rivera said, for the time being, they just want to make enough money to stay open and keep their staff employed and safe.

"I’m not against other restaurants opening the dining room, like if they do it, and they want to do safely. and their staff feels okay about it, then good for them," Rivera said. "You know what I mean? But I’m not gonna even– if just one person on my staff didn’t want to open until we get vaccinated then I wouldn’t open. I’m not gonna put them in a position because they’re the ones that have kept us open."

Most of the restaurant’s customers have appreciated the stance Rivera has taken.

"I do think they’re a model," said Neal Copperman. "Pre-pandemic, I probably ate here like every three months. I eat here like every week now, you know? It’s like I feel so– it’s so part of a community."