Three Rochester staples reopen for takeout: ‘It’s do or die right now’

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — While many local restaurants have been doing takeout for the past few weeks, some closed down altogether. On Wednesday, three of those that closed opened up again for business.

Harry G’s, the Highland Park Diner, and Balsam Bagels have been closed for weeks. The owners said they needed time to figure out a takeout plan, but it was the community’s support that influenced the reopening.

Mary Beth and Al Giglio owns Harry G’s. Back when restaurants were told to only offer takeout, they closed down completely.

“So much of our business is catering and walk-in from downtown that we knew that if everything else was closing down, cost effective wise it would be really tough to recoup that,” said Mary Beth.

Van Zissis owns the Highland Park Diner. He said he tried to do takeout for a couple weeks, but ended up closing down also.

“We were never set up for a to-go place, this was a place to come. People would go here it was like family, they would come on weekends, they’d come to see their friends,” said Zissis.

Rebecca and Roni Malek own Balsam Bagels, and did the same thing. Both owners said they needed time to figure out a system.

“I think when we realized this is going to go on for a very long time, knowing that we realized we have to have some kind of a long term plan and being closed for months on end is not a long term plan,” said Rebecca.

All three restaurants are looking forward to the day they can fully reopen, but know that’ll come with its own challenges.

“It’s do or die right now, we’re just trying to survive. This is all we know,” Zissis said.

All three restaurants are offering either online ordering or call-in orders. To keep contact to a minimum, they’re asking people to wait in their cars and call when you get there. They’ll bring the food out to your car.

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