A look back at 2020 reveals resilient Las Vegas restaurateurs doing everything they can to keep their businesses alive. An industry that typically relies on jam-packed dining rooms filled with in-person meetings — whether family, friends, business contacts, or strangers — became the target of what some health-care experts say spreads COVID-19.
The year saw a complete shutdown on nonessential businesses — casinos, restaurants, and bars — the very lifeblood of the Nevada economy, in March until May, when stand-alone restaurants could open again. Casinos cautiously reopened in June. Bars found themselves shut down again from July through September. And all continue to serve at 25 percent capacity as COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket across the state.
Restaurants survived by launching new takeout and delivery options, revealing family meal packages, opening small grocery stores, and even sprucing up their outdoor dining spaces. Some didn’t make it. Most carried on, showing resilience in the face of adversity.
The pandemic will continue into 2021 even as vaccinations slowly make their way into arms, so restaurants will continue to come up with new ways to get customers through the doors and put butts in seats. While 2020 is a year everyone wishes they could forget, it’s a year that won’t be forgotten.