With small businesses around the corner on Saturday, heads of state are also hoping to see some support for local restaurants.
The last holiday season, when Covid-19 cases escalated and the weather turned colder, that meant a lot of empty dining rooms. But this holiday season, local restaurants are more optimistic that hungry people will have their backs after a long time at the height of the pandemic.
âIt’s all over the place. We’ve had a really great time and we’ve had some really tough times,â said Anthony Stewart, general manager of Que Whiskey Kitchen in Southington.
But the upscale staff at Que Whiskey Kitchen are grateful this Thanksgiving for their customers.
âWe have a small potluck today. I thought we were going to have some smoked turkeys at the best barbecue place in town, âsaid Lenny Murtishi of Plantsville.
In the smokehouse behind their Southington dig, dedicated chefs prepare more than 70 birds for collection.
âA lot of people have bigger gatherings with their families, so it’s like you know, let us take something off your plate,â said Stewart.
Restaurant owners are betting on Wednesday evening and the next vacation to boost business.
In Hartford at Parkville Market, the owner of the dining room reflected on what he was grateful for – all the support he received when opening during a pandemic.
“I had no choice, it was built. It cost so much money. I had to find a way to pay for it,” said Carlos Mouta.
Mouta became moved as he described all the help he received from the Small Business Association helping him get loans to stay afloat for the hungry people who followed.
âThey really helped me,â Mouta said in tears.
Building on the success of the food hall, the heads of state made a suggestion, asking people to dine at local restaurants for the holiday season and beyond.
âWe survived,â said Deco Carvalho, of Brazilian Gula Grill at Parkville Market. “We are here and I think next year will be promising.”
With alfresco dining a less popular option in cold weather, the CT Restaurant Association reminds everyone that dinner or pickup will mean so much more.
âSo we’re going to need support to get through this winter. With the challenges of the labor shortage, with the challenges of rising costs, all of these companies are facing,â said Scott Dolch, executive director of the CT Restaurant Association. .