PHOENIX — Even though Gov. Doug Ducey’s curfew allows people to be out after hours if they’re patronizing a business, many shops are opting to close early for the safety of their customers and employees.
And one industry, in particular, has had it rough. In March, restaurants were forced to stop in-person dining nearly two months under an executive order due to COVID-19.
Although the stay-at-home order expired in May, the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew through next week is taking another bite out of business.
"There are some days where we do $80 a day," says Kylle Price.
Price is the head cook at Country Boys Diner in northwest Phoenix. They're usually open 24 hours, but they had to scale back on hours amid the pandemic.
"It’s been rough," Price says. "Especially not seeing our customers."
And just as they were starting to get that boost back in business, the curfew packs another punch.
"People not coming out as late."
And it’s not just customers not wanting or able to be out. Over at Verdura in Central Phoenix, owners Julia Chugerman and Chris Gruebele are closing earlier than planned.
"We just wanted to be as safe as possible," Chugerman says. "For now it’s a safety decision. We want to make sure everyone gets home at a reasonable hour."
That goes for customers, staff and the rest of the community. And Verdura has been putting safety first for months, opting to stay closed through the stay at home order.
Their grand reopening was Monday, following the first full night of curfew.
"It was sad," Chugerman says of hearing about a curfew. "I mean it’s understandable that it’s happening. We support everything that is also going on."
And support for them shifts with their modified hours. They say now they’re seeing a lunchtime rush with dinner cut short.
"We want everyone to stay safe and stay positive."
Ducey's curfew order is set to expire next Monday.