Revisiting a restaurant navigating the pandemic

Getting a progress report on the Hatch Cover
Hatch Cover Bar and Grill
Posted at 2:06 PM, Jul 09, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — In this edition of The Rebound Colorado, we continue to follow local business owners who are finding ways to navigate the Covid-19 Pandemic.

This time, we’re touching base with a popular bar and grill in Colorado Springs, The Hatch Cover.

I visited there back in early May when they were closed, and we wanted to get a progress report on how things are going while we’re still in the thick of uncertain times.

In May it was a shut-down, empty restaurant, undergoing renovations, is now back open for dine-in.

“It’s very nice, we’ve been cooped up so long,” said Kimberly Morris, who is happy to be back out to eat at the Hatch Cover.

The Hatch Cover which was going tens of thousands of dollars in the hole during the shutdown, starting to get back to a “new normal.”

“It’s been great. Sales are leveling off, sales are down some days, up others, but we're here doing it,” owner Rob Hirt said.

Some things they’ve done to adjust include adding signs all over the new guidelines and social distancing measures. They have a certain occupancy, and the tables and chairs they can’t use have been taken out so there is no room for error.

“We’re making it work and moving forward. Hopefully, soon enough this will be all behind us,” Hirt added.

Hirt said their PPP is running out and they’re still not sure if they’ll have to pay it all back, or some, or if it will be forgiven. But he said their entire staff is back on board and happy to be there.

“It’s super awesome. It was hard doing to-go orders and it’s nice to interact with customers again and have them all in here,” bartender Kaeley Silvey said.

Things operate very differently now. Everyone is wearing masks and constantly cleaning. Still, we’ve seen some businesses in the news not following proper protocol and bars without food are once again shut down in Colorado. Hirt said hospitality is 10 percent of Colorado’s business population and he worries what happens if we regress.

“I think if restaurants get closed again, we will lose an exponential amount of locally-owned and corporate-run restaurants compared to the last time,” Hirt said sadly.

He said they’re happy to obey any and all new rules, even if it’s more stressful and more work. They say it’s worth it to be able to invite guests back in and safely keep the doors open. They only hope it can stay that way.

To see our previous story on The Hatch Cover click here.

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