GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The pandemic has changed the restaurant industry not just in West Michigan, but across the country. Some have to close their doors for good, while others are delaying opening because of supply chain issues.
Taqueria San Jose on Division Avenue recently announced it is closing its doors on Dec. 31.
“It is very sad to see. Personally, we own our own business and it’s just really affected a lot of people with the COVID,” Jackie Snowden, a customer in line on Wednesday, said.
The owner, Juan Barajas, says on top of 2021 being a tough year, he’s ready to retire.
“I’m too old. I’m the cooker. I do everything else and it’s hard for me, for an old man, it’s hard,” Barajas said.
Another business closing its doors for good on New Year’s Eve is Osteria Rossa in downtown Grand Rapids. The business posted on Facebook that it’s due to unforeseen times and they’ve made the decision with a heavy heart.
While many restaurants are closing, others are working to reopen.
“We originally wanted to open it in November, but due to supply chain issues with just getting product and construction, we ended up pushing it off to early next year,” James Berg, the managing partner with Essence Restaurant Group, said.
Berg says they’re in the process of renovating Grove on Cherry Street, but he says he understands why many are choosing to close.
“I just think some people probably just want to get out and move on to something else,” Berg said.
As Taqueria San Jose counts down its final days, Barajas says he’s grateful for the community’s support and whatever comes next.
“I feel sorry because I know a lot of people love us and I love everybody else, you know. Maybe in the future we can do something in downtown. That’s our plan,” Barajas said.