Running Rooster co-owner Jim Chapman announced on Jan. 6 that the downtown Hollister restaurant would be closing after Jan. 10 until the state allows indoor dining again.
Chapman clarified to BenitoLink that the restaurant, open since 2004, would not reopen until at least 50% of indoor capacity is allowed. San Benito County restaurants would be allowed to do that in the third tier (yellow) of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The county is currently in the most restrictive tier (purple).
Despite efforts to remain open, Chapman said Running Rooster cannot afford to survive on only take-out and delivery services. He said he thought the restaurant could outlast the restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with several months of restrictions still looking likely, he said it was time.
“We tried really hard to wait it out and survive through it, but it’s been ten months and it looks like it’s going to be three, four, maybe five more,” Chapman said. “At some point you get to a point where the bank account tells you that ‘okay, you better save what you have left and wait for conditions to improve.’”
After giving employees as many hours as possible through the holiday season, he said now is the best time for the restaurant to “hibernate” as business slows down after Christmas.
The temporary shutdown means about 27 employees will be out of work, most of which are working part-time. Chapman said prior to the pandemic, Running Rooster employed 34 people, of which between 15-18 were working full-time.
“It’s painful to do this, but we definitely will be back and we very much look forward to being back,” Chapman said.
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