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Mister Goodbar owner optimistic about the future despite closure for coronavirus

Posted at 5:58 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 07:38:19-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We know the coronavirus pandemic is hitting every aspect of life. While many people are spending their weekends at home, bars and restaurants are taking a hit.

Not even two weeks ago, bars and restaurants, in Buffalo's Chippewa party district, had people inside, decked out in green. It was St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Two weeks later, dining rooms at many bars and restaurants are closed. The coronavirus has these same establishments serving take out only.

But many bar owners decided they can't stay open. It was best for them just to close. They're not equipped to serve beer and cocktails to go and they don't have food for take out.

Beyond that, some of these bar owners likely wouldn't have the money to pay staffers.

That's the story at Mister Goodbar, on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

Owner Bobby Rabb said it was one of the hardest decisions he's ever had to make. He said he had to make the decision quickly, to give his employees an immediate opportunity to make money elsewhere.

"There's always this idea that you have a business, you just put stuff out, you make a killing and that's not the case," Rabb said. "There's so many liabilities you have that your profit margins are pretty tight going in. So when something like this happens, it really hits you hard."

Rabb said the support has been amazing. Other businesses along Elmwood Avenue are selling gift certificates for Mister Goodbar, to help bring in future business.

"We're all in this together right now and the only way we're going to get through it is get through it together," Rabb said.

While the bar is closed for now, he says he's got some plans in the works and is optimistic about the future.