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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Food establishments struggle during the pandemic 

    Senior Joe Tramonte whose family owns the Italian Store said they were lucky that their menu could easily transfer to grab and go and that they were marked as a grocery store, as well.
    Senior Joe Tramonte whose family owns the Italian Store said they were lucky that their menu could easily transfer to grab and go and that they were marked as a grocery store, as well.

    In Washington D.C.’s Union Station, students, teachers, government officials and more all pass through the terminal’s doors. Before the pandemic, in the morning, the halls would be crowded with people rushing to get to work or school. The afternoon was just as hectic, but the adrenaline had died down from the work day and people would often stop at one of the many restaurants Union Station has to offer before finishing their day in the city. 

    Union Station offers several different food options, from McDonald’s consistent fast food for those in a hurry, to Thunder Grill, where you can sit down and enjoy a higher quality meal when you have some time to kill. These restaurants were all very popular with thousands of people going through the station every day. This has changed completely since the pandemic, as a large number of people have stopped taking public transportation and don’t feel safe going inside to get something to eat. 

    Union Station restaurants aren’t the only places that have taken a hit from the pandemic. Restaurants across the country have seen little to no business compared to 2019. Over 70 DC restaurants have had to shut down due to the Pandemic

    They have spread out tables to maintain protocols, and they have a limited capacity. Even in the cold, a large number of restaurants offered outdoor seating for those who are not comfortable eating inside.

     “I had no idea this was going to be that bad,” he said. “It would have been easier to just close the doors, you know, walk away, but no,” said Kevin Onyona, owner of a Kenyan restaurant in D.C. to Jodie Fleischer and Katie Leslie from NBC.

    The Italian Store in Arlington was one of the small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. 

    “The store was hit extremely hard in the beginning of the pandemic, and we were forced to close our doors for a few weeks. However, we were lucky enough to have a model that could be altered to grab and go quite easily, and we were also considered an essential business, being an Italian grocery store. These factors helped us open backup, and although numbers had been low, things are beginning to pick back up with everything being reopened,” said Joseph Tramonte, senior,  whose family owns The Italian Store family. 

    These businesses have worked extremely hard to keep themselves above water and need all the help they can get. They hope as the weather warms up and as more vaccines are distributed they can begin to generate more revenue as restrictions will be lifted.

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    • L

      Leslie KeiserMay 18, 2021 at 1:49 pm

      Well-written article that reminds us to support local small businesses. Thank you.

    • C

      Carol CorganMay 18, 2021 at 8:07 am

      My son manages a restaurant in LA. A lot of restaurants didn’t make it through the pandemic. My son’s did. Praise God!
      AND–so happy for the Tramonte family!