GREENSBORO, N.C. — Non-essential businesses closed their doors at 5 p.m. on Friday, and those in the food industry are scrambling to survive.
That’s including the new bars and restaurants that opened right before they had to close off their dining rooms because of COVID-19.
“We weren’t even considering a takeaway menu quite yet, but we had to pivot really quickly,” said Talmadge Blevins, who opened Machete Restaurant in Greensboro one week before Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order. Blevins is rolling with the punches.
“Things are changing daily, and we just have to keep up with everything,” Blevins said.
Leonardo Gramisci is trying to stay one step ahead in the game. Gramisci owns New York Pizza on Tate Street.
The restaurant reopened almost two months ago after Gramisci reclaimed the business. He operated NYP in the early 2000’s before taking a few years off.
NYP was in the process of renovating the bar but since COVID-19, that project is now on hold.
“Unfortunately, it’s a rough time for everybody. It’s a challenge, and it’s unknown to everybody,” Gramisci said.
The list of new businesses blindsided by the pandemic goes on. Heavenly Buffaloes on South Elm Street also opened one week before the governor’s order.
“We did great. The second week was when the concerns with corona increased,” said general manager Carrie Mangum.
Oden Brewing Co. opened a few months ago. Now the large taproom sits empty.
“I’ve learned that there’s always ways that businesses and people can adapt. I think initially everybody was really panicked. Everybody was worried, scared. But I think a lot of people are coming together,” said taproom manager Brandon Angelilli, “if we don’t go out and try to support all these small businesses in any way we can, they might not be around when this is over with.”