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Business and Economy

MidTown Reno Pubs, Employees Grapple With Closures

A bicycle rack in MidTown Reno shaped like a standing zig-zag.
Alexa Ard
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered all non-essential businesses in the state to shut down for 30 days, in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, during a press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 17.

Bars and restaurants are a central part of Reno’s Midtown District, which is now grappling with the 30-day, statewide shutdown of all non-essential businesses ordered by Governor Steve Sisolak.

On a day when the Pignic bar and restaurant would have been crowded with St. Patrick’s Day revelers, Theresa Agnello was freezing meat and wondering about emergency aid for her small business and employees. Agnello is uncertain if her company can endure an extended shutdown. For now, she hopes to keep her best people working on deliveries and pickup orders so she doesn’t lose them.

“It also means a lot for employees," Agnello said, "holding on to them, then getting on to unemployment or finding a different job, and what that means for when we can be up and running again.”

Ed Griggs is general manager of the Brewer’s Cabinet, another popular Midtown brewery and restaurant. The Brewer’s Cabinet operates four other locations under different names in the region, brews and distributes beer and has a couple dozen employees. Most of those employees, to include Griggs, will be laid off.

“I'll be putting in that application for unemployment. I have a family. I have bills. I have [a] mortgage,” Griggs said.

The closure is in effect for 30 days. Both restauranteurs understand the need for the move but are eagerly counting the hours until April 17, in dire hopes that the virus will have past.

KUNR Contributor Brian Bahouth is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Sierra Nevada Ally. You can read more of this specific story here.

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