St. Louis curfew hurting restaurant owners who just reopened

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City is on an indefinite 9 p.m. curfew to keep the city streets safe, but it’s also causing some concerns for restaurant owners.

Many have just reopened business and brought their staff back and now they’re forced to close early.

Gian-Tony’s on The Hill is one of the more popular restaurants in the historic St. Louis community. In 30 years, guests to the likes of Susan Sarandon, Muhammad Ali, and—as of three weeks ago—John Goodman have all fallen in love with the good eats.

But thanks to the coronavirus crisis and subsequent curfew, the dining room is nearly empty.

“I wish I never did open up, but we opened up with nobody,” owner Tony Catarinicchia said. “We do about 85 percent less of what we used to do.”

When restrictions began to ease, Catarinicchia thought business would get back to normal but that never happened.

Now with a 9 p.m. curfew in place due to Monday’s violent protest, Catarinicchia worries the end may be near for his business.

“Maybe another two or three months,” he said. “Maybe!”

And he’s not the only one frustrated.

Other restaurant owners are feeling like they can’t catch a break too.

First they had to restrict service to coronavirus and now they have to restrict hours due to curfew.

Mayor Lyda Krewson responded to restaurant owners’ frustrations.

“It’s very tough on business and you’ve just been able to reopen,” Krewson said. “We apologize for needing a curfew but we do believe we do need a curfew at 9 o’clock right now.”

Catarinicchia said he’s unsure what the next few weeks will look like for Gian-Tony’s. But he knows he’ll do what’s needed to keep his family legacy moving forward.

“I’ll try and do the best I can,” he said.

The big question is when the curfew will go away.

Mayor Krewson said that’ll come when protest organizers can get a grip on those protest without them turning violent.

Currently, she’s hopeful for next Monday.

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