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COVIDĺs impact on beloved Denver area restaurants
La Voz Staff Photo

By Joseph Rios

It has nearly been a year since Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered a stay-at-home order Ś requiring Coloradans to stay at home, unless for essential activities, services and work.

When the stay-at-home order was instituted, many financial experts, politicians, residents and others feared for businesses that rely on in-person services. And while itĺs difficult to pinpoint an exact number of how many businesses have been forced to close because of the pandemic, job losses may be a telling number.

According to the Colorado Business Economic Outlook report, the state was originally predicted to add 40,100 jobs in 2020, before the pandemic. The report was revised at the mid-point of last year, and that number changed to a loss of 128,500 jobs for the year. The leisure and hospitality industries are projected to have lost 76,000 jobs in 2020 while the trade, transportation and utilities fields are projected to have lost 13,000 jobs.

Popular Denver destinations like Meadowlark Kitchen, Old Major, The Market at Larimer Square, 20th Street CafÚ and 3 Kings Tavern were all forced to close because of the pandemic. Meadowlark Kitchen co-owners said slim margins in the restaurant industry made it impossible to reopen in current conditions. Other places like The Market at Larimer Square, which had been in Denver since 1983, didnĺt entirely blame COVID-19 for its closure last April Ś but the pandemic sped the closing process up.

Meanwhile, other popular restaurants in the Denver metro area have remained closed for months but have yet to announce whether or not they plan to reopen. Bennyĺs Restaurant & Cantina, a Mexican restaurant that has been in Denver since 1987, has been closed since March 27 of last year, according to its Facebook page. In May, the restaurant said it would reopen again in late July as it was making upgrades. However, its Facebook page has remained quiet since September.

ôThank you all for all of your well wishes! We do not have a reopening date yet, we were hoping that things would get better with COVID-19 cases, and we just hope you understand we are trying to keep our family safe due to COVID-19 since Bennyĺs is a family-owned establishment and we have family who is at increased risk of for severe illness if exposed to the virus,ö the restaurant spokesman said on Facebook. ôBut we promise as soon as all of this is over, we will be so happy to see you all again!ö

Cinzzettiĺs, an all you can eat Italian restaurant in Northglenn, has also remained closed as well throughout the pandemic. An employee of the restaurant said it is hoping to reopen sometime in April.

You can support Colorado businesses by buying local, posting about businesses on social media, being loyal to service businesses like hair salons and barbershops and ordering pickup. Ordering for delivery from restaurants that use sites like Grub Hub and Uber Eats charge restaurants a fee.

Support restaurants struggling to stay above water, which are keeping a great number of people employed.





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