CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Restaurant owners are once again taking a look at take-out only options, whether they want to or not. Some local merchants have had to temporarily close their doors due to the spreading new wave of COVID-19.
The owner of Kiko’s Mexican Food Restaurant & Cantina, Marcus Barrera, made the call to close the dining room on Friday morning.
This decision to close the restaurant at 5514 Everhart Road for sit-down dining was one he says he did not take lightly.
The restaurant will be open for take-out service only until further notice. This was due to one-third of his staff testing positive for COVID-19.
“This was a very hard decision for me because this is their livelihood, this is their paycheck, this is their car payment, their house payment, food on the table for their children… and mine, too,” says Barrera.
Most of his staff that tested positive were unvaccinated but there were a few breakthrough cases.
“The right thing to do is to recognize it when it happens, and to put people's safety first,” he says.
The Exchange in downtown Corpus Christi made the decision to close temporarily due to COVID as well. They took a week to deep clean their venue and confirm negative COVID-19 results from their staff before reopening yesterday.
Back at Kiko’s, Barrera says it is time for his customers to take wearing masks and vaccines seriously.
“Well if you think you’re upset because you can’t sit down and dine, think how I feel when I have to sign checks and the money is dwindling,” he says. “We’re just going to take it day by day, we’re going to see how we recover from this, what we learned from this, what we can do better… and move forward.”
Kiko’s plans to reopen their doors as soon as it is safe and Barrera urges his customers to consider the vaccine to avoid closures in the future.