Amid widespread closures across businesses and restaurants since March due to coronavirus, one Huntsville restaurant has remained open, but continues to struggle with slow business.
Genaro Padilla, manager of El Molcajete Mexican Grill, says the restaurant began carry-out only for the months of March and April and has since resumed dine-in services as well. Yet, Padilla says those early months hit them hard.
“The biggest challenge was when coronavirus began. When it started people didn’t come to order carry-out or anything,” Padilla said.
Padilla says that while business has gotten slightly better recently, it is still much slower than before the pandemic, which he attributes in part to widespread fear of coronavirus and dining out in general.
“People are still afraid. They hardly come out,” Padilla said.
With disruptions in the normal flow of income, Padilla says paying bills was especially difficult in March and April. Despite having applied for financial assistance, Padilla says they have received no help.
“No, I didn’t get any help,” Padilla said. “My wife tried to apply for some help but somehow we don’t qualify, I don’t know, they never gave me any help.”
Padilla worries that if the restaurant had to close, they would be unable to recover financially and reopen.
“I worry because if we close, because if I close — I can’t open. If we close and then for all the merchandise and paying the bills, it is almost impossible,” Padilla said.
Moving forward, Padilla says they will continue operating the same, taking all safety precautions like wearing masks, sanitizing menus and spacing apart tables and booths.
El Molcajete will continue offering carry-out service through DoorDash as well.