Local restaurants settle into the 'new normal'

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Local businesses around the Chippewa Valley are learning to transition into a not-so-traditional way of serving people. Last week, Governor Evers ordered all restaurants and bars across the state to close, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Some restaurants like Silly Serrano and Acoustic Café are trying to stay afloat by offering take-out or delivery orders only. Owner of Silly Serrano Sheila Arrendondo says the change hasn’t impacted their business negatively.

"For us, it's actually been a bit of a blessing."

Arrendondo says they have been succeeding in sales because the transition was smoother for them than some restaurants.

"Ours honestly has been an increase. We have had some awesome days. We are grateful seeing a lot of bigger, larger orders come through," said Arrendondo.

Silly Serrano has a drive through window and online orders already in place. But, where one business is thriving with take-out only due to COVID-19, many other local restaurants aren't having as easy of a time adjusting.

"Sales are miniscule compared to what they were," said Acoustic Café Owner Lois Sieve.

Sieve says the Acoustic Café in downtown Eau Claire is still getting the hang of this new change.

"This is normally our busiest time, the spring, where the weather is getting better so we're missing a lot of sales."

Acoustic Café does not have a drive-through like some restaurants, so they are offering curbside pick-up for when you call in your order. Sieve says the city set aside three parking stalls outside of the restaurant for them to use.

While these two restaurants are dealing with COVID-19 differently, they say it’s important to do what’s best for the Eau Claire community.

"I just know, it's a critical time, I'm really talking to my staff letting them know we are taking this really serious," said Arrendondo.

Even though they aren’t running business like usual, both restaurants are hopeful about making it through the month.

“We have some of our customers who come in weekly or a couple times a week. They're being very generous. So it's been amazing to see the support come through," said Arrendondo.

"We will be here when it's over. We are a pretty solid business. We've been in business for 25 years and we're going to survive it,” said Sieve.