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Restaurant owner worried about business amidst covid-19, rioters

Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 03, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Rin Suphankomut's bistro will celebrate its third anniversary this fall.

But the small business owner said she's facing a number of challenges because of COVID-19, like cutting staff hours, hours of operation, and difficulty getting products and produce.

"It was a challenge. The business has decreased about 35, 40 percent last month alone. So I'm not sure what's going to happen next," said Suphankomut

And just this week, she’s had to trim her hours because of the 8 p.m. curfew in Buffalo that runs through Sunday night.

The curfew comes just as the state has given the green light for restaurants in phase two to offer outdoor dining, with proper social distancing measures in place.

But Suphankomut’s not celebrating. She said she’s not ready to reopen because she’s worried about vandals harming her business - just as they did to other businesses further down Elmwood Avenue over the weekend.

"We got lucky on that but let's hope that everything is now better, and people are just going back to the same routine," she said.

Suphankomut already had plans to expand her outdoor patio to a dining area to practice social distancing, add six to eight tables and hopefully attract more customers.

"Our restaurant is really, really small. The whole square footage is about 750 square foot and the whole restaurant itself - half of it is the kitchen," she said.

But she said she's doesn't what will happen. For now, she only hopes that her business - already struggling – can hang on.