Oahu restaurants got the green light to resume dine-in service on June 5, but many businesses are choosing to stay closed.
The lack of tourists and foot traffic is making it too difficult for some local eateries to pay the bills.
One of those businesses that has remained closed is ShoreFyre Fresh Grill & Bar.
The Waikiki restaurant is usually busy, but now tables sit empty.
“We attempted to stay open, but pretty much tourism left right away, and we lasted about one week, and then we shut our doors,” said the General Manager of ShoreFyre, Alan Wiltshire.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Wiltshire to make some tough decisions
“We have a staff of 97 people, and they’ve all been laid off, temporarily,” he said with a heavy heart.
Wiltshire said the cost to reopen when there is not enough foot traffic is too much.
“To completely reopen, it’s re-connecting with vendors and ordering, and I don’t see the business being there to make it profitable at this point,” he explained.
Whiltshire said no visitors means no business.
“We don’t want to open just for the sake of opening. We did get a PPP loan, and we kind of view it as we have one shot to survive, and we don’t want to blow it,” Wiltshire said.
ShoreFyre isn’t the only restaurant choosing to stay closed longer than required.
For example, the Yummy Restaurant Group has five businesses in the food court, all of them are still shuttered.
“There wasn’t enough people going to the food court, I mean today is a big improvement compared to what I’ve seen,” said Angela Choi with Yummy Restaurant Group. “Where we were before, we were profiting, but it wasn’t like a huge profit where we were able to even out just by opening, so that is why,” she said about why they chose to keep their eateries closed through the stay-at-home order and beyond.
ShoreFyre now plans on reopening middle of August.
The Yummy Restaurant Group is looking to reopen its food court eateries in the near future, since Ala Moana Shopping Center just installed socially distanced seating.