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Some restaurants reopen dine-in service, but how is business?

A downtown Phoenix restaurant that depends on workers at nearby businesses says things have been much slower.

PHOENIX — It’s been a week since Arizona Restaurants were allowed to open back up for dine-in service. Some chose to open others while others remain close.

Unlike many restaurants in downtown Phoenix, Detroit Coney Grill is open for business. But reopening for dining has not been good.

"Business is horrible. We're down 70 to 80 %,” said Dan Shapiro, owner of the Detroit Coney Grill.

Shapiro says normally the grill would be packed with loyal customers for lunch at his downtown location, but the pandemic is forcing a lot of his regulars to work from home.

"All the skyscrapers around are all pretty much empty of business. Employers and employees are not here. So, it's not a good situation at all. We can't last much longer," said Shapiro.

It's a different story in East Mesa at Nando's Mexican Café. The lunch hour is a busy time.

"It was pretty much full except for the tables we had marked off that aren't allowed to be eaten at. Yep, we usually fill up," said Heather Wise. Manager at Nando’s Mexican Café in Mesa.

It helps that Nando's is located near residential subdivisions filled with loyal customers who took advantage of the restaurant's take-out service during the closure.

"They kept us in business. That is the reason why we’re opening the doors today," said Wise.

Wine sympathizes with restaurants that rely on business customers.

"Just like Boeing closed down the street and they were our huge lunch business and they did a lot of catering with us. It's been a little bit slower at lunchtime," said Wise.

As for the Detroit Coney Grill – Shapiro hopes business picks up soon before it's too late.

"This restaurant was up 30/40% previous years and it just all went away," said Shapiro.


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