UTICA, N.Y. --- Cinco De Mayo is normally a day that fills restaurants around the area. But restaurant owners were in a much different situation.
COVID-19 restrictions have forced restaurants and bars to close for several weeks.
Takeout and delivery now the new normal. NewsChannel 2 spoke to a couple of restaurants that said this will be a Cinco De Mayo they won’t forget.
"It’s a lot different like a lot different. It said to see how empty it is in here but we’ve had a lot of support through the community and we’ve been busy, said Anastasia Ferrone, owner of Luna’s.
Luna’s is one of the area’s newer Mexican restaurants. This year being their first Cinco De Mayo. They opened their doors back in August. But now most of their employees are home.
"I feel bad all of our employees, we only have two employees because we just can’t there’s nothing for them to do," said Ferrone
Some of the longer-standing businesses seem to be in the same situation. Rio Grande owner Dino Laurenzo said it was a busy day in the kitchen despite the restrictions. Takeout orders maxed out before lunch on Tuesday.
"There’s a pile of tickets and a lot of food ready to be made up for our customers," said Laurenzo.
Over at Casa Too Mucha, owner Pattie Rizzo said her staff was dealing with hundreds of orders. To keep up with demand, she said it was all hands on deck in the kitchen.
“Every worker we have is on. We have people that have worked for us in the past that have volunteered to work for us today just because it’s Cinco de Mayo, said Rizzo.
In terms of reopening, all of these business owners are looking forward to welcoming back customers. But plan to do so with social distancing guidelines
“If I could see even half of my people that we normally have come in, I would love that and we would certainly do the measuring and make sure we do whatever the Governor will have us do. Whether it’s six or twelve feet. I’d be happier to see them then do take-out, “said Rizzo.