DENVER (KDVR) — If you can last a decade in the restaurant industry, you know you’re doing something right.
Angelo’s Taverna in Denver’s Alamo Placita neighborhood has been in business for 48 years.
However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is putting even the city’s most successful restaurants to the test.
“It’s shocking. I don’t think any restaurant owner thought this was possible, that you could lose everything in a matter of months,” said Craig Jones, co-owner of Angelo’s.
Jones is also the co-owner of four other restaurants that have been forced to furlough 210 of their collective 240 employees.
“It’s very stressful. You wake up in the middle of the night and you can’t fall back asleep,” said Jones.
However, there is finally some relief. The restaurant group just learned each business will receive around $400,000 in the form of small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Around 75 percent of that money will be used to bring around 200 furloughed employees back to work.
“We’ve got to bring those employees back and get really creative with we’re going to do with them. You can’t have 10 servers waiting on one customer,” Jones said.
Other businesses are also getting creative.
Denver Distillery is now making hand sanitizer while waiting for help to arrive.
Angelo’s and the other restaurants partially owned by Jones will receive financial assistance sooner, but they also worry about what will happen if the pandemic continues beyond June and if they are only allowed to open at half capacity.
“Are we going to be rocking and rolling by mid-June? Because if not, this bridge loan is just a short-term fix,” said Jones.