With capacity restrictions and conversions to offering takeout meals, restaurants have been hit hard during the pandemic.
Family-owned businesses have had to work extra hard to keep up with chain restaurants in a treacherous economy.
Jamie & Marcus Giuliano, owners of Aroma Thyme Bistro in Ellenville had to get creative in keeping their business afloat, which was a challenge Jamie said she was up for.
“Our capacity might be lower, but we’ve learned how to make things work in in these times,” she said.
Jenifer Flynn co-owns The Barking Goose Bookstore, Bar and Cafe in Newburgh with her wife, Lani, and they have been grateful for having conscientious customers.
“Most of our customers have been on the more cautious side,” she said. “We’re following all our rules, and most of our people appreciate that.”
She also believes that being both a bar and a bookstore has helped business stay alive during the pandemic.
“We were lucky that we had the restaurant open for takeout, even when, things were shut down,” she said, “so then people coming in to get their takeout would see a book and grab it.”
Giuliano believes that restaurants in the Hudson Valley are in dire need of help, as $25 billion is set to go to restaurant relief nationwide in the latest federal stimulus package.
“We’re seeing more and more closing or they’re not open as much or people are working harder,” said Giuliano. “I definitely think that there needs to be a little bit more support out there.”
She ultimately agrees that the restaurants that will survive the pandemic will be the ones that become the most innovative and most attune to their customers’ needs.
“People still need to eat,” she said. “I think they want to go to people that they trust.”