OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – As business owners begin to make decisions on when to reopen their doors, others are uncertain if they can recover from the economic damage brought by the pandemic.
La Cocina de Silvia is usually packed with construction workers during this time, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic they had to close their doors.
What’s usually a bustling kitchen filled with the Mendoza Family, is now vacant and what started as a hopeful year, took a turn.
“Now, it’s been a month, since we’ve been closed,” said Ruben Mendoza.
The restaurant is their main source of income. Silvia gets in at 7 in the morning to begin cooking these homemade meals. They’re described on social media as cheap and delicious. But since they’ve been closed for a month, they’re behind on bills.
“We can’t afford gas, the lights, and being here until 4 in the evening, to sell pretty much nothing,” said Mendoza.
They closed because the majority of their customers are construction workers who only have a half hour break and need a place to sit and eat. Once customers weren’t allowed to sit and eat in the restaurant, many of them stopped coming.
“That the people, try to help us, by coming,” said Mendoza.
They’re not doing to-go orders right now, but they are looking for funds to open next week. They are also trying to figure out how to keep seating arrangements to follow the social distancing guidelines. Mendoza says he doesn’t want to take the PPP loan either.
“Even if it was a long-term, no interest loan, with all the debt that we’re in already, another $10,000, we think it would be a heavy load,” he added.
He says he’s unsure of how the customer flow will be once businesses get the green light to open to customers. But the Mendonzas have side gigs they’re working on to stay afloat, like catering and event decorating.
These restaurant owners are still unsure if they’re going to open back up, but if they do they’re planning on opening up next Monday.