LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The owner of Zest Bistro and Bar says they’ve been able to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the support of the community.
For just over a decade, Zest Bistro and Bar has been serving up comfort food for the south Las Vegas valley.
Originally named 'Off The Strip', the restaurant made it through the recession in 2009 but faced another obstacle this year.
“We went bare bones to try and stay open,” says Bill Papadopoulos, owner.
As non-essential businesses were ordered to close their doors in Nevada just a few months ago amid the pandemic, Zest made the adjustment to delivery and curbside options only.
Now that doors have opened again, and the restaurant is allowed to seat guests at 50 percent capacity.
The bar area remains closed, sanitizer is readily available for customers, and social distancing is enforced inside.
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“To come in and hear customers walk in the door, and nine out of ten tell you that they're glad you’re open was refreshing, compared to what had been going on the last two months,” says Papadopoulos.
Papadopoulos says neighbors have always supported the restaurant, especially those in the Southern Highlands area.
Many who stop inside are more than just customers to Papadopoulos and his crew.
“My staff considers friends as customers because we’ve known them so long,” says Papadopoulos.
For hundreds of Las Vegas small business owners, the future feels ominous at times as COVID-19 cases increase in the state.
Papadopoulos is hoping that the restaurant will continue to be able to serve the community that’s been supportive of them for so many years.
“I live with that anxiety every day of hearing the rumor that this might happen, or that might happen, and you have to adjust,” says Papadopoulos.
Zest Bistro and Bar is located at 10670 Southern Highlands Pkwy., Las Vegas, NV 89141.