DENVER (CBS4) – The quiet empty tables at Roxy on Broadway are a change that owner Paula Vrakas says she will never get used to.
“It’s devastating,” she said of her Denver restaurant.
Under new restrictions starting at the end of the week, business inside will be banned, which for her means immediate cuts.
“I need to lay off my staff. I laid off over half my staff an hour ago. It sucks,” Vrakas said.
With the three staff members left, they are putting everything they have into what is allowed, which for them is takeout and a 7 table patio.
“I’ll be honest. If we close the doors I’m going to default on loans. I’m going to default on personal loans. I’m going to default on food bills, like through our main food suppliers. I’m going to default on liquor and beer vendors. Because that’s the only chance that I have,” Vrakas said.
She’s not alone. According to the Colorado Restaurant Association’s most recent survey, if inside dining were to close down again 79% of restaurants say they will consider closing permanently in six months, 59% say it would be three months and 24% say it would only be a month.
While Vrakas continues to wait for grants and loans to be approved, she says the governor’s talk of legislative action is promising but needs to happen fast.
“I think I speak for all small business owners. We have been told that so many times … maybe we’ll get something but at the same time we’ve been slapped in the face so many times … that we are a little hesitant to get excited,” she said.
And after all of that, she says she’s not ready to give up.
“I promised them that I would not let the music die here at Roxy and there’s nothing that I’m going to not do to at least try to open the doors again,” she said.