Restaurants Threatened Due to COVID-19


Facebook/Wichita Brewing Co & Pizzeria

Wichita Brewing Co. is one of the local restaurants that is still in operation during the pandemic. They have enacted safety precautions such as installing booth dividers to help separate patrons.

Anna Nguyen, Reporter

When the pandemic first broke out it caused a large range of conflicts. One of the main conflicts was keeping small, local businesses open. They would have a hard time staying open due to the pandemic because they are so small, they become vulnerable during this madness. Some do not get many customers to keep their business open but some have managed to stay open. 

“For the time being, a lot of people are afraid to come out to get sick, but our numbers have been down but obviously with the mandate we closed half our table here and we have seen a considerable amount of slowness,” Jeremy Horn, owner of Wichita Brewing Co., said.

During this time, there are restriction orders that need to be followed from Sedgwick County. Recently, a new order was just put in on December 8th which is expected to be followed through Jan. 10 until Feb. 6. Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity as of right now. Masks have stricter rules and sanitizing often are still mandatory. 

According to Yelp data, there have been nearly more than 300,000 businesses in the U.S. that have either permanently or temporarily shut down due to COVID-19. In Wichita, there have been roughly 50 restaurants shut down. 

Some businesses like Pasta Express, benefit from COVID. The owner of Pasta Express says that they’ve gotten busier during the pandemic. “Whatever this is happening helps our business. We were mostly takeout to begin with… because most of our business is take out, we got busier from a lot of takeout. I feel bad, I hate that because I know other businesses suffer.”

Some of the larger businesses in Wichita that people thought would hold up include Mama Nith’s Crawfish, BurgerFi, Denny’s, Smoothie King, Golden Corral, Pita Pit, Cafe Asia. Sadly, they have either shut down their business completely or temporarily. Hopefully, at least some will be able to be brought back up again. 

During this time, to help restaurants on the verge of permanently closing, it would really help these local places out if citizens in Wichita would support them. Some local restaurants that are struggling in Wichita are Bill’s Charcoal Grill, Angelo’s, Ziggy’s Pizza, Pasta Express, Pam’s Wings and Things, Jumbos, Boba Zone and more. 

As a manager at Churn and Burn explains, “Just shop local instead of going to a drive through or a chain restaurant, eat at a local place. Eat local eat local eat local always eat local. And tip your people, tips right now are really appreciated, always helps us out.”

Going to these places more often instead of chain restaurants would help. Wichita would be losing some of the best small, local businesses and it would not be good for the reputation of our city. The U.S. has lost many restaurants this year during COVID-19 and does not need more to lose.

“I know a lot of people right now are struggling with money because we are in the middle of a pandemic and tax and other things going,” Cynthia Colchado, owner of Bill’s Charcoal Grill, said. “As a local community restaurant, we want people to know that buying a drink or a little cup of rice that we have, something small it can help in the long run and in anything because everything is money.”