COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A few local businesses have decided to close their doors for good as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local restaurants are also realizing they can’t stay afloat even if they open with new protocols in place.
The owners of Firefly Bistro in New Albany announced on Facebook they were closing for good. Kathleen Perrine, one of the owners, says because they are debt free, taking a risk right now simply isn’t worth it.
“As of last week, about three percent of restaurants have already indicated to us that they do not intend to reopen,” said John Barker, President and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. “There is a lot of work to do yet for restaurants to make it through the situation.”
With dining rooms opening on May 21, Barker says they will have a better understanding of what is to come. He said realistically, restaurants will have about 50 percent capacity, so they will have to use other ways to create income, such as takeout and delivery.
“It’s not a mode to make a lot of money because this is already a tight margin business,” Barker said. “But if they do all that, they can adjust the things that aren’t fixed.”
Restaurants like The Table in Victorian Village are closed as well. But the owners tell us they intend to sell to the right person.
“It’s still emotional and it’s still hard,” said co-owner Jen Marlatt. “I mean The Table is a baby that Sang [Lakhani] and I had together.”
Even though they won’t be opening to the public, The Table is still doing carryout until further notice.
“It’s not just the business you have to let go of,” Marlatt said. “It’s that sense of responsibility to your team and the people that have helped make your dreams come true everyday.”