Pandemic forces some Omaha restaurants to close for good

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 4:21 PM CDT
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A difficult decision some local restaurant owners are having to make, to stay open or to close for good?

Restaurants are in the re-opening phase and in just a few days bars will also start to reopen. But for one business here in Blackstone, the doors are now shut for good.

The owner of Forno here in Blackstone tells me the pandemic has forced these doors to remain shut for good.

The owner of Forno also owns Dante in West Omaha. While that restaurant will be able to stay open the owner says Forno was not going to be able to succeed.

The owners here aren't the only ones left to make the difficult decision to close. The Nebraska Restaurant Association says since the pandemic started about 3% of restaurants have closed.

By the end of the pandemic, they are expecting a total of 6% of restaurants to close statewide.

While officials there say it's difficult to track if the reason is strictly COVID-19 related, the owner of Forno says the reason he's shutting down is as a result of the pandemic.

Nick Strawhecker, the Dante and Forno Owner said, "The nail was that with reopening 50% occupancy at Forno didn't make sense because Forno has 50 covers or 50 seats, Dante has 100 or so, at Forno, it would have been 25 but probably more like 20 with the necessary social distancing."

Visit Omaha officials say since the pandemic started both the Flat Iron Cafe and Cantina Laredo in Midtown have also closed.