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Business Beat: Bars, Restaurants Hungry For Pre-Pandemic Revenues

Radium Sulprizio is standing in a bar. He is looking toward the camera while wearing a face mask and leaning against a wooden divider.
Kaleb M. Roedel
Northern Nevada Business Weekly
Piñon Bottle owner Radium Sulprizio stands inside his bar in Reno’s Midtown in May of 2021. After his bar’s business was down 75% in 2020, Sulprizio has seen sales rebound this spring.";s:3

Hear the latest business news from around Northern Nevada, with Business Beat from the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Life for diners will start to feel somewhat normal again, with restaurants now allowed to operate at 100% capacity in Nevada. And that couldn’t come sooner for the industry, which has had it especially hard.

In fact, more than 110,000 restaurants and bars closed across the U.S. last year, either temporarily or permanently, according to the National Restaurant Association. Those who did make it had to be creative.

Aaron Foster owns the restaurant Food + Drink in Midtown Reno. He opened it a month before pandemic restrictions forced him to close for in-person dining. So, he had to pivot. Food + Drink was one of the first restaurants locally to offer curbside pickup, and it helped him stay in business. He’s now expanded his menu and is offering outdoor dining.

These forced pivot points ended up being good for Brett Moseley, too. He owns Washoe Public House in Downtown Reno. He said he was already getting tired of paying fees to third-party delivery services, like Uber Eats. When the pandemic hit, he decided to have his employees deliver meals. He even created a special $40 family meal for pickup or delivery, which turned out to be a big hit. Moseley said these deliveries, plus limited indoor and outdoor dining, helped the restaurant make more money in 2020 than the year prior.

However, bars have had a much harder time. Piñon Bottle saw its sales drop nearly 75% last year, and BeerNV’s revenue was down 55%.

Aside from opening to full capacity, one change that could help the industry is the lifting of mask mandates indoors.

Read more about the local restaurant industry at nnbw.com.

Kaleb Roedel is a KUNR contributor and reporter with the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. For more business news, check out the Northern Nevada Business Weekly at nnbw.com or in print on Wednesdays.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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