Highlands Ranch restaurants: 'We're doing the best we can'

Owners worry as virus numbers drive ban on indoor dining


Many Highlands Ranch restaurant owners' anxiety skyrocketed as new state COVID-19 restrictions were implemented Nov. 20, prohibiting all indoor dining and effectively slashing their operations.

“We're back to where we started, with a lot of uncertainty,” said Peter Fatianow, owner of Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar, near Town Center in Highlands Ranch. “It looks like for us and a lot of restaurants, holiday parties and things that have been on the books for a long time are gone. It's a big blow for sure.”

After the first weekend with the new level red restrictions, Fatianow said his restaurant's revenue was down about 25% compared to the previous week. The hit was somewhat softened because Indulge Bistro & Wine Bar sells food packs for customers to cook at home as well, Fatianow said.

"We did sell Thanksgiving dinner packs during this time, so that one-time revenue helped," he said.

Many restaurants are scrambling to find new ways to accommodate guests for outdoor dining, including with tents, cabanas, heaters and fire pits.

“We're nervous about (this),” said Dave Gardner, owner of Max Taps Co. in Highlands Ranch. “We get the patio, but it's winter. So, it's going to be tough.”

Gardner, who said his patio now has multiple fire pits and heaters, hopes that the community is ready to dress for the weather and still come out to local restaurants.

“I hope it doesn't last as long as the first time because at least we had warm weather then,” he said.

Chris Bogert, general manager of Lansdowne Arms in Town Center, said he's looking to the community to continue being understanding as the local businesses work through this difficult time.

“Small businesses are struggling right now and we just want people to understand that and be supportive,” he said. “We're doing the best we can to give them the best service and survive.”

Bogert hopes that his restaurant's patio will still draw customers as many other restaurants close their doors for dine-in.

“People are going to want to go out,” he said.

He also would like to see the community wear their masks, he said.

“If everybody wears a mask and it gets us back to work sooner, just do it,” he said.


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