KALAMAZOO, Mich. — With no word on when indoor dining might reopen in Michigan, bars and restaurants are continuing to feel the pain.
Food Dance Cafe is a favorite restaurant to many in Kalamazoo, and while it saddens the owner to think about closing its doors for good, the repercussions from the pandemic have left her weighing her options.
"It is so expensive to open and close, and so devastating on the staff," said Julie Stanley, the Owner & Executive Chef of Food Dance Cafe.
After 26 years, Food Dance Cafe in Kalamazoo might be closing for good all because of the pandemic.
The owner and executive chef Julie Stanley said closing and opening so many times hurt them too much financially, even with the help of PPP loans.
"If we didn’t have PPP money, then we wouldn’t have even been open. That did survive us for this time, but that’s it. Now it is gone. Yes, you can apply for again but all it is band-aids," said Stanley.
With an 11,000-square-foot building and large kitchen, the restaurant can't do takeout everyday like other businesses because of the way they prepare their food from scratch.
"How much inventory can you keep? How can you turn your product? How can you do what you need to do? It’s very hard," said Stanley.
According to a survey conducted by the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, 5,600 or 33% of restaurant owners said it is unlikely they will be in business in six months. Food Dance Cafe said they could be one of those restaurants.
"It’s devastating. I just don’t know how else to…it’s a huge death and a constant process. Like with all death, it is never how I thought we would end. It is out of our control, which is what is so painful," said Stanley.
All restaurants in Michigan are currently closed to indoor dining until at least Jan. 15. There have been no indications from the state whether they will extend that order.
Food Dance Cafe is evaluating throughout the next month or so to determine if they will reopen or keep the doors closed for good.