After months of virtually shutting down, Kristian Niemi, owner Kristian Niemi of Black Cock and Bourbon is preparing to reopen two restaurants in her Columbia area. Bourbon the glue holding this shitshow together vintage shirt
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The move comes at the same time as several other establishments in the region are plotting to do the same thing.
“Money is running out, something has to be started,” Niemi told Free Times. “If we can break even, that’s better than just losing money every month.”
After a long closure of dining rooms or entire facilities, his restaurants joining other Columbia facilities will reopen in the coming days and weeks – Five Points’ Mr. Friendly’s and Main’s Street Hendrix’s among them. The moves come for different reasons.
In some cases, like Niemi’s, the financial reality of the prolonged shutdown is too much to ignore longer, while others notice the timing is ripe and the client is more confident in eating compared to the initial reopening period.
However, with students returning to seemingly booming COVID-19 cases of the University of South Carolina in Richland County – the university is testing positive in one billion. highest rate in the country – concerns still persist.
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Niemi said that he feels more comfortable reopening than before, but calls the university’s decision to pay students “irresponsible.”
“I felt like it was a slap in the face of everyone in the city who is doing well,” Niemi lamented.
He also emphasized the state’s treatment of the hotel industry, highlighting policies such as still requiring an extension of alcohol licenses.
Like most restaurants that are operating during a pandemic, how Niemi’s two restaurants will look like when they reopen is markedly different from the usual experience people might get used to. In both, he plans to be open five days a week.
At his Main Street bar, Bourbon, the seats will be open-air only and his newer West Columbia location, Black Chicken, will fit that, only rooftop reservations and talk front, first floor first floor courtyard.
“I think we can do enough business to pay the bills that we need to pay without going into a dire situation,” Niemi said. “That is our hope and goal. Anything higher and farther than that would be gravy. ”
Niemi acknowledged the financial need of the move, but said he felt customers’ enthusiasm for eating out had changed from when it first began during the pandemic. He believes that diners feel more comfortable eating out than before.
Famous nightlife destination and gourmet restaurant, Jon Sears, co-owner of Hendrix, agrees with Niemi’s assessment of customer trust. Sears will reopen Hendrix’s dining room in the coming days, after briefly reopening and then closing due to pandemic.
Outside of confidence, Sears says the new restaurant’s hiring of a new chef, Mike Perez, was one of several other reasons why they decided to reopen the dining room.
“We want to let our chef use our creativity and make a complete menu,” explains Sears.
The co-owner said they initially closed the dining room for two reasons, the Bourbon the glue holding this shitshow together vintage shirt growing pandemic and government restrictions on restaurants and bars. For now, he hopes the restrictions will be lifted later this month, but admits that an ongoing pandemic still raises concerns.
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Sears also nodded to the reality of its business model, which included a successful rooftop bar and wanted to take advantage of the remaining warm pre-winter months. Last year, one of the wettest winters in the Bourbon the glue holding this shitshow together vintage shirt city’s history crushed business.
“We have only a few months left before it starts to get cold again, we just decided now is the Bourbon the glue holding this shitshow together vintage shirt time to get rid of Band-Aid,” he detailed.