BOSTON (CBS) – As restaurants in Massachusetts brace for colder weather, some are opting for hibernation and closing temporarily with the hope of reopening in the spring. Some restaurant owners said it’s too difficult to remain open during the coronavirus crisis.
Andy Kilgore, owner of The Emory, explained, “It’s going to make sense for a lot of people financially operating at 20, 30, 40 percent of capacity, of normal business. It’s not sustainable. With the little bit of money people have I think they’re going to try to survive that way.”
He’s far from the only one heading in that direction. Kilgore said, “I’ve certainly spoken to other restaurant owners who are going to do this coming up in November, December.”
The Emory in Beacon Hill opened last summer and did what they could to get creative in the past few months, including purchasing patio dividers for $7000. In the end, they decided closing until mid-2021 made the most sense.
Kilgore shared, “we wouldn’t have lasted very long. Operating costs are well documented how high they are in restaurants. So the best course of operation for us was just to take the time and hope for more relief coming.”
Chef and Owner of Atlantico Michael Serpa added, “so end of the day you might actually lose more money trying to operate than you would being closed so I think everyone making that decision is putting that into consideration.”
Serpa recently made the tough call to temporarily close his Newbury Street restaurant Grand Tour, which opened in late January.
“The space there, we designed that to be really kind of a cozy, intimate bistro,” Serpa explained, adding, “very much the opposite of what people want right now.”
Now, he’s taking a risk by opening up Atlantico in the South End, which is more in line with what diners are looking for these days.
Serpa explained, “It’s probably about four times larger than Grand Tour. Thirty foot ceilings here, big windows, big doors, we have a lot of air circulation. Very open, airy space. So people feel more comfortable.”
And some good news- Serpa is taking his employees from Grand Tour with him to work at Atlantico, which opens on Thursday.