San Juan County restaurants reopen for indoor dining

[anvplayer video=”5010443″ station=”998127″]

FARMINGTON, N.M.— San Juan County recently made the move from Level Red to Yellow, which means local restaurants can start offering indoor dining.

Mama’s Deli has been open in the Four Corners since 2019. Before the pandemic, they were already dealing with the challenges that come with opening a new business, but 2020 brought in a new set of obstacles.

“Like any other business, it hurt. It hurt us a lot, so we’ve been trying to do many things—coming up with different menus, different things" said Esmeralda Jacobo, manager at Mama’s Deli.

For months the deli was doing take-out services. Since they had no patio space, outdoor dining was out of the question. However, last week San Juan County turned Yellow, which means restaurants across the county can now open for indoor dining at 33% of its capacity.

Some restaurant owners wasted no time in doing so. Mama’s Deli owner Reina Martinez was one of them.

“For a small business like this one, it’s harder for us to get ahead. We don’t have a big chain supporting us. I think we should support the community so local businesses can survive," Martinez said.

At one point, Martinez wondered if Mama’s Deli would survive through the pandemic. They said they’ve received community support, and after waiting for the county to turn Yellow—they feel hopeful.

“We just hope soon we can all be open at full capacity and get this pandemic behind us, so hopefully it’s soon. We’re praying for that," Jacobo added.