Cinco de Mayo was very different this year for local restaurants

Local News

This year Cinco de Mayo and Taco Tuesday fall on the same day. Normally you would be celebrating by going out to one of your favorite restaurants and getting full tableside service. But instead this year we are just going to have to celebrate at home with curbside pick-up.

Sam Handy from Agave says, “We have gone from interacting with customers to now wearing masks. We have gone from taking orders at the table, to taking phone calls. So it has been a big change for us.”

Sam says it’s not the same Cinco de Mayo like previous years when there was a big celebration outside of the restaurant.

“Typically if you were to come out here during Cinco, we would have a tent going, we would have two or three bands lined up for the day, giveaways, prizes. All sorts of things going on.”

The pandemic has had a hard hit on a lot of restaurants. Will Lowry, from Bueno y Sano said he had to close his restaurant for a month, right after St. Patrick’s Day.

“It wasn’t feasible. There just wasn’t enough business, takeout and people were scared”, said Lowry

Will said luckily, he got a loan from the paycheck protection program and was able to re-open. As soon as he got that he decided to re-open because he could pay his employees.

Will Lowry says, “I’m optimistic and I am paying my employees for fulltime work, even if they have reduced hours because that is what the whole PPP is for.”

Lowry, along with most of his employees had to file for unemployment. Lowry said things were very up in the air for at least three weeks.

For now restaurants are having to get creative to get their customers on the phone to place orders.

Sam Handy says, “We have been really pushing social media. I have a great management team that pushes social media. On a day like today with Cinco getting the word out is really important.”

Will Lowry says, “We are trying really hard on Facebook and Instagram, through local channels. I’ve got a big banner in the front window right on Dorset Street, so we get a lot of traffic going by.”

Even though we can’t celebrate in restaurants like we are used to, there are still ways to eat out and support local businesses.

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