‘You may be looking at close to 100 restaurants' closing in Richmond, tourism group says

Updated: Sep. 21, 2020 at 9:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s been a tough six months for the restaurant industry, as restaurants have been forced to get creative to deal with the pandemic. But, unfortunately, not all have been able to survive.

WPA Bakery currently has two locations, one on the Southside and another in Churchill, but in October, only the Southside location will be open.

“This all happened right before wedding season. We had everybody cancel their weddings or postpone. We’re starting to have some weddings start back up with scaled down orders and smaller cakes,” said owner David Rohrer.

WPA Bakery, a bakery and coffee shop, stayed open and adapted by going takeout only and limiting the number of customers inside. But the business has lost as much as 30% of its business over the past six months.

“We did get some help with the PPP loan - it took us through the summer,” Rohrer said.

“Most of them have run out of their PPP money so they’re struggling, and you’re starting to see some closures because of that,” said Eric Terry, president of Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association.

Terry’s association estimates about 3,000 restaurants have closed across the Commonwealth of Virginia, some of which say it’s only temporary, but only time will tell.

“I think you may be looking at close to 100 restaurants that have closed here in the Richmond area,” said Terry.

To keep from being another closure, WPA Bakery says they’re trying to think ahead.

“It’ll put us in a stronger position after all this is over to just focus on one business and make this bakery the best it can be,” said Rohrer.

The bakery owner did say some part-time employees will lose their jobs, but he is hoping to keep all full-time staff from both locations employed, though they will lose some hours.

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