Coronavirus impact: Morgan Hill restaurants trying to cope during shelter-in-place orders

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Saturday, April 4, 2020
Coronavirus: Morgan Hill restaurants trying to cope during shelter-in-place orders
Downtown Morgan Hill is home to many restaurants that are struggling due to shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there are still stories of hope through the tough times.

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KGO) -- The coronavirus pandemic has created a new, stark reality in Downtown Morgan Hill, Calif.

"Well it's been horrific for our people," Ladera Grill owner Dan McCranie said.

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Shelter in place orders have turned what would be a busy Friday lunchtime rush into a scene of empty tables and closed doors, but all is not lost.

The owner of Ladera Grill, Dan McCranie, is paying employees to give back, despite the business being shut down.

"We're in our tenth year now and they are family," McCranie said. "Frankly, where are they going to go if they can't get some type of income. I just filed PPP today, so I'm hoping if that gets approved, we'll be able to pay them for at least a couple more months."

McCranie said he is bringing some workers to help with remodel during the shutdowns.

He says customers can expect a new look and taste to the restaurant when things reopen.

Other popular favorites like Betto's and Craft Roots are closed indefinitely while Trail Dust Barbecue and Rosy's at the Beach learn a new way to survive through to-go orders.

Even with takeout, the numbers aren't even close to what they once were.

"Just completely different," Rosy's at the Beach owner Rosy Bergin said. "Without dining-in service, business has dropped off quite a bit, probably 70 percent."

Bergin said they are offering their usual specials to customers who take advantage of their curbside to-go service to keep businesses going.

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As if it wasn't hard enough for small businesses to stay afloat during these tough times, try opening a new location.

That's the reality for Mo's Breakfast and Burger Joint in Morgan Hill, who had their grand opening last weekend.

Molly Adams is the CEO of Tac-Oh, Willard Hicks, Opa, and Mo's and says like all restaurants, business suffered when the shelter-in-place started.

But opening a new restaurant actually drew interest from residents, some making orders before Mo's opened officially for the first time.

Adams says they had to make adjustments to staff with times so slow, but all four businesses aren't suffering as badly as it could have been.

The Downtown is struggling right now, but the community is what will help these businesses survive until this is all over.

"Seeing these extreme declines in business and our revenues, that everyone is experiencing, we at least feel very supported with what seems to be a very direct intention to support local businesses," Adams said. "They want to support us and keep us going. We're very appreciative of it."

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