DENVER (KDVR) — Starting Wednesday, Denver restaurants will have capacities reduced to 25%, under a new mandate by the city.
Despite no active cases at Denver restaurants, the city says the steps are necessary to prevent another shutdown.
It’s a major blow to restaurants like Barbed Wire Reef in North Denver, where 50% capacity has been barely enough to scrape by.
“Our capacity was at 50 people, now at 25%, we’re looking at about roughly 35 people,” says Rico Aragon. “It’s going to be challenging.”
A recent survey by the Colorado Restaurant Association showed 50% of restaurants would have to close within six months if capacity limits stayed at 50%.
President Sonia Riggs says that number will only grow at 25%.
“Frankly, it’s devastating,” she says. “Who we’re seeing the hardest hit, is your local, neighborhood full service restaurant that are really the gems of these neighborhoods.”
Riggs says takeout and outdoor dining will be vital over the next few weeks.
The CRA is also planning on releasing details in early November on a plan to help restaurants establish more outdoor dining options over the winter.