A San Jose restaurant owner says his company will not survive the pandemic after nearly three decades of ups and downs – Chacho’s restaurant is finally closing its doors.
“It’s a world full of pain. I’m still recording it, ”said owner Jorge Sanchez. “You stop for a second and, wow.”
It was a slow death for the popular restaurant. Chacho lost a location during the lockdown and now the second lockdown is proving too much for the flagship restaurant.
And it’s not alone, the Downtown Association says there were 220 restaurants downtown prior to COVID.
Half of it is closed now, and at least a quarter of it won’t come back.
“We’re really focused on understanding the implications for a number of businesses,” said Chris Burton, director of economic development.
Burton, part of a city team looking for ways to keep businesses alive, said, “The city has an amnesty for collecting business ax, so they are postponing payment for them.”
He adds that the city is helping small businesses transition to digital marketing and advertising. But for Chachos – and many others – it’s all too late.
The restaurant is gutted, and the owner says every level of government deserves the guilt for not doing enough to save small businesses.
“It hurts. It hurts. It is very disappointing that local, state and federal authorities do not understand our damage. We were in a tsunami full of injuries and only have paper towels,” said Sanchez.
He said he wasn’t sure what would be left of his city when the pandemic was over. But one thing everyone seems to agree on – this is not the last deal we will lose.