A San Jose restaurant owner says after surviving nearly three decades of ups and downs, his business will not survive the pandemic -- Chacho's restaurant is closing its doors for good.
“It’s a world of pain. I’m still absorbing it,” said owner Jorge Sanchez. “You stop for a second and, wow.”
It's been a slow death for the popular eatery. Chacho’s lost one location during the lockdown and now, the second lockdown is proving too much for the flagship restaurant to handle.
And it's not alone, the Downtown Association says there were 220 eateries downtown pre-COVID.
Half are now closed, and at least a quarter of those won’t be coming back.
“We’re really focused on understanding what these impacts are for a whole range of businesses,” said Chris Burton, director of economic development.
Burton is part of a city team looking for ways to keep businesses afloat and said, “the city has an amnesty for business ax collection, so it defers payment on that.”
He adds that the city is helping small businesses transition into digital marketing and advertising. But for chacho’s - and many others - all of this is too late.
The restaurant is gutted, and the owner says every level of government deserves some blame for not doing enough to save small businesses.
“It hurts. It hurts. It's very disappointing that local, state, and federal don’t understand our hurt. Were in a tsunami of hurt, and all we got is paper towels,” Sanchez said.
He said he's not sure what will remain of his city when the pandemic is gone. But there is one thing everyone seems to agree on - this isn't the last business we'll lose.