Business

Durham restaurants struggling to stay open as coronavirus outbreak continues

Posted July 30, 2020 5:51 p.m. EDT
Updated July 30, 2020 6:01 p.m. EDT

— Some restaurant owners are running out of options when it comes to saving their businesses.

Some have closed for good, others are in financial trouble.

The owners of Dogwood Bar and Grill in Durham say business is slower than ever.

They’re averaging about four to five takeout orders per day. The owners don’t know how much longer they can keep this up before they have to close their doors for good.

Tears come to co-owner Cassie Ramos’ eyes just thinking about losing the restaurant.

“It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking. You work so hard, and it’s everybody, everybody is struggling. People are afraid to go out,” she says.

Ramos explained the restaurant has had to cut down hours of operation just to keep their doors open.

“Yesterday was slow. I think we did $365 and on a Wednesday, we should be at about $2,000,” said Ramos.

She also co-owns Metro 8 Steakhouse in Durham, which is in much worse shape.

They can’t keep paying rent there much longer.

“The rent is astronomical compared to this place. This place is more salvageable than the other place, but we’ve been there for 14 years and two here,” said Ramos.

Rachel Brown is the manager of Metro 8 and a longtime friend of the owners. She says the staff has also seen a cut in hours.

“Some of our employees went from working 8 to 10 shifts a week to working 1 to 3,” said Brown.

On a Friday before the pandemic, Dogwood would usually bring in about $5,000; now they’re lucky if they make $1,000.

“It’s just heartbreaking to see the struggle for both of the restaurants,” described Brown.

The owners been following all of CDC’s guidelines and protocols to keep staff and customers safe.

They’re hoping that will give customers some peace of mind and hopefully bring in more business.

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