Restaurants in orange zone miss out on Black Friday crowds

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) —Restaurants that have been designated in the orange zone because of rising COVID-19 numbers were dealing with restrictions on Black Friday, usually a big day for in door dining. 

Restaurants in downtown Rochester didn’t see the crowds they would typically see on a Black Friday and owners say there has been little if any traffic on the streets.

“Today is normally one of our busiest days of the year, the day before thanksgiving and The two days after,” sad Alex Tahou, Owner Nick Tahou Hots.

Owners at Nick Tahou Hots say families and college students returning home usually pack these tables but today most orders were takeout and only one large group came in.

“16 people they were all related to each other , they all knew each other that’s one group. we probably have 10 or 20 groups that size that’s normally, and there’s not there,” said Tahou.

Tahou says their business was down two thirds compared to last year. 

Being an orange zone business, restaurants can only do outdoor dining, takeout and delivery service. There is a 4 person maximum per table.

“Particularly for us being in downtown Rochester having it be marker on orange zone, it’s scary the heck out of a lot of people,” said Tahou.

A couple blocks away, Veneto Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta is dealing with the same orange zone restrictions.

“Some businesses are able to open depending on what part of town you’re on some busines aren’t. You know we were down to 4 per table mean while I watch the news today and the mall is full with people,” said Donald Swartz, owner of Veneto Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta.

Restaurants owners like Swartz are working hard to pay bills and keep employees through the pandemic. They say community support is been a big help.

“Small business Saturday come in, spend some money, keep trying to spend money local if you can, if they’re open,” said Swartz.

Both businesses are still open for takeout and outdoor dining.

Owners at Veneto are pursuing a lawsuit in order to get their business fully open and others say they are just hoping for any type of financial aid in order to avoid a closure.

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