Restaurants and Bars Emerging Amid the Pandemic

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July 15th, 2020

OMAHA – Tim Addison sets an alarm clock to wipe down door handles every thirty minutes at his new location of Addy’s sports bar in capitol street.

 “I almost decided not to proceed with the build-out, and then I decided you know, towards the middle that I was going to go ahead proceed an follow through. The process was extremely slow this time,” Addison, says. 

He tries to have a place free of COVID-19 contamination for his customers. But, even more importantly for Addison, the safety of its employees.

“We always practice safe food handling and everything, and cleanliness, we have sanitation stations set up throughout the bar,” Addison, Says.

Addison owns four restaurants in the metro area. A few days ago, he opened up his newest location downtown. It took seven months due to the slow process of getting equipment.

To open the new Addy’s downtown, he had to use different tactics this time, but everything possible because of the many years of experience he has in this industry.

“This time we just run more promotions because of the locations.”

To do any permitting process with the city, this time everything had to be done electronically. The waiting time to receive the furniture and electronic parts for the restaurant and bar took much longer than normal.

As Nebraskans continue to open the economy, California and other southern states are issuing orders to close bars and restaurants once again, due to the increase of COVID-19 cases.

Addison is also aware of how, the Hispanic community is affected by the pandemic, more than others.

“And we have a very larger Hispanic workforce. That is one thing and on top of that they have multi-generations living in their home, that is what it is really scary too.”

Although the number of restaurants that have closed their doors forever continues to increase, a few businesses emerge, mainly because the plans were already underway months ago and have strong support from investors.

Chad Shoeman and his partners own a few restaurants in Omaha. Last week they opened a rooftop bar in Blackstone district and business went better than they expected.

“It was great, we opened Wednesday night to our friends, some of them said there were coming, some of them said we are going to wait until this passes so we haven’t seen a lot of our friends,” Shoeman, says.

Something that drives Shoeman and his partners to stay in business and even open a new bar, is to know that people will always need a place to have a cocktail.

“If I was new to this and investing one part of me will say do it and the other part of me will be very scared, (he thanks customers for coming to the bar) ‘thanks for coming in guys, have a great day,’ Yes because that is who I am. Try coming in smarter, watch other people, ask a lot of questions,” Shoeman, says.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to hurt the local economy, but amid pandemic, some businesses have been able to prosper in Omaha.

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