Café 44: Among the Survivors

Café 44: Among the Survivors

Café 44 of Arlington, VA, a successful breakfast, lunch & brunch hotspot, doubled its business after doing a “massive pivot” in its food service and customer outreach. They completely retrenched in May; re-opening from forced government closure to a social media favorite with an upscale dinner menu. “When we reopened in May we had to pivot strongly,” says owner Jula Jane. “Before the shutdown we were serving breakfast and lunch to a customer base that were tenants in our building….

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A Downeast take on the ‘pandemic pivot’

A Downeast take on the ‘pandemic pivot’

In the restaurant industry of Maine, the conversation these days centers around surviving the winter. Nobody speaks in terms of profits. It’s all about managing the losses following the long months of pandemic-related lockdown. Brian Langley, owner of 35-year-old landmark eatery Union River Lobster Pot of Ellsworth, doesn’t sugar-coat it. “There’s a devastating winter coming for the hospitality industry. Every single restaurant in Maine makes its money in the summer. We rely on the money we make in the summer…

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Historic Wishing Well Restaurant is all in for Turkey Day

Historic Wishing Well Restaurant is all in for Turkey Day

The Wishing Well Restaurant of Saratoga Springs, NY is opening its famous front door, flanked by iconic jockey with lantern, for a traditional Thanksgiving feast! Under ordinary times, the 55-year-old family owned landmark would be in a crowded field. During these extraordinary times, when measures and counter measures have been issued by government in response to the national health emergency, the ability to be able to offer dinner at all on what has traditionally been The Wishing Well’s busiest day,…

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‘One day this will be history’

‘One day this will be history’

Sergio Bellmónt handles the stress, frustration and complexities of owning a restaurant, using a day-to-day approach, even in times of government lockdown. Hard? Very. Is there hope? For Sergio and his wife and partner Claudia, yes, there is always hope. The husband-wife owners of Bellmónt Spanish Restaurant of Coral Gables, Fla. have been surviving on a combination of curbside and takeout business, a government Paycheck Protection loan, and the good graces of all manner of creditors. And especially with the…

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Famous French restaurant pivots to takeout

Famous French restaurant pivots to takeout

Just last week the Duck Confit with Utah Nectarines was a big hit on the menu. So too were the Beef Wellington and Lobster Club at the sumptuous French restaurant Vincent on Camelback. The 35-year-old jewel of the Arizona culinary scene, which once served Julia Child in its charming dining room, took only two days to pivot from indoor dining to takeout service. And while challenged by mandated shutdowns like most restaurants and hospitality businesses, Vincent on Camelback has kept…

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In the eye of the hurricane

In the eye of the hurricane

Nestled alongside the Kennebunk River in Maine, the famous Hurricane Restaurant is weathering the storms of the times with old-fashioned ingenuity and the support of the town. Serving patrons in the quaint New England site, where restaurants have stood since the 1800s, new owner Taylor Benenti had only taken over the reins of Hurricane Restaurant in January 2019 and had outdoor expansion plans when the coronavirus lockdown occurred. As luck would have it, the restaurant had already been approved for…

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The beat goes on at OK sushi bar

The beat goes on at OK sushi bar

The Sushi Bar in Edmond, Okla. re-opened its indoor dining over a month ago. So far, so good. The desire for fresh seafood in the landlocked community near Oklahoma City has remained steady and strong. And despite a few hiccups in exotic fish availability from Japan and Dallas, the beat goes on. In this week’s Q&A with Boxerbrand’s blog Recipe for Success, The Sushi Bar—Edmond’s GM Janet Lim shares a few insights about how her restaurant has survived the government…

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Hanging tough at Olde Bryan Inn, Saratoga

Hanging tough at Olde Bryan Inn, Saratoga

The Olde Bryan Inn of Saratoga Springs has hung tough over these past few months through a combination of staff grit, customer loyalty and by keeping a positive attitude. Like every other hospitality business shuttered during the Coronavirus, the doors of the 40-year-old landmark restaurant were shut by orders of the state on March 16; at which point, the management and staff of the legendary restaurant —which makes its home in a historic property that has existed since the Revolutionary…

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A WV wine bar hangs in with all hands-on deck

A WV wine bar hangs in with all hands-on deck

In the midst of a move to a larger, better space, and just as the national business lockdowns hit like a tsunami, the team at Sip Downtown Brasserie in West Virginia put their shoulders to the wheel and pulled their company through. Job titles flew out the window as staff and friends grabbed paint brushes and dust pails to chip in, helping to complete a long-planned move from to a larger, better equipped space at 311 9th St., in Huntington,…

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The show must go on—outdoors!

The show must go on—outdoors!

Chef Anna Maria Santorelli had such a huge fan following that by the time she opened her new wine bar in Rye, NY on Jan. 4, she drew overflow crowds. “The moment I walked in the door, the place was packed! Says Santorelli, the former head chef at Gracie Mansion in NYC under Mayor Giuliani, and entrepreneur restaurant owner. “I was so excited to see my new vision for a wine bar become reality. Coming off selling my restaurant in…

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