BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Sophia's Restaurant on Military Road is voluntarily closing for a few weeks. Owner Sam Doherty said he made the decision in an effort to protect employees and his young children at home, as Western New York sees an uptick in cases.
“It seemed like the right time to take a little break, especially with the rise in cases,” Doherty said.
Doherty said the staff is on board, and are waiting for COVID-19 cases to go down too.
“It’s been a little nerve wracking, you know, we’ve got a small area to work in and a lot of people in and out,” Doherty said.
As Sophia's Restaurant adapts to the change in cases, Eggsperience Restaurant on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore is beginning its rebound.
Under previous ownership, the restaurant closed for good as a result of the pandemic. The original owner, Vasilis Panagopoulos bought it back in June, and reopened it three weeks ago.
“The heart, the heart, I had to buy my place back," Panagopoulos said. "I mean my name was up here, and I didn’t want my restaurant to close. I’ve been in business for 30 years; I never close restaurants down.”
According to a New York State Restaurant Association Survey, nearly two-thirds of restaurants in the state say they will likely close by the end of the year, without an industry relief package.
Panagopoulos said there's no comparison between business now and pre-pandemic, but said he's thankful the business is still doing okay. He said as long as he can pay his employees, the rent, the restaurant's utility bills, and purchase food, he will remain open.
Both restaurant owners said loyal customers are what allowed them to reopen, and to take a break.