Takeout is picking up in Carson, restaurants say

Takeout is picking up at Carson City restaurants.

Several local eateries depending on takeout business to stay afloat said there was an uptick in orders last week, although no one knows exactly why.

“Maybe everyone got their $1,200,” said Frasier Ghasemi, owner, US Submarine Base, a sandwich shop on U.S. Highway 50.

Ghasemi is referring to the stimulus checks from the federal government, some of which were deposited directly into individuals checking accounts last week.

“Last week we were busier than we were before,” the shutdown, said Joe McClendon, supervisor, Round Table Pizza off College Parkway. “It was double what we were expecting to do. It’s been kind of crazy.”

Round Table delivers for a $4 fee and also does curbside pickup. Since the changeover to takeout only, the pizza parlor has had to lay off some staff, mostly those that cleaned the dining area which is no longer in use.

“We’ve seen business grow every week,” said Kim Oren, assistant manager, Red’s Old 395 Grill on Carson Street.

Red’s offers curbside pickup and while demand is increasing, business is a third or fourth of what it was before the mandated move to takeout.

“It covers our labor costs,” Oren said. She said Red’s has retained most of its staff, which work four to five hours daily.

Other restaurants are reporting the same level of business.

“So far sales have been decent, but we are operating at about a fifth of our normal revenue,” said Nicholas Meyer, a partner in Reno Local Food Group, which operates The Union downtown.

The group also owns Cucina Lupo, which is closed for now. The Union is open and customers can order online for curbside takeout Thursday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m.

“Business-wise, what a kick in the pants,” said Josh Bainton, owner, The Poké Beach on William Street.

Bainton saw a bump in orders last week, too, from mostly lunch orders to dinner as well. Still, he said business is down 60 to 70 percent overall. The biggest hit for him has been the closure of state offices and city buildings nearby.

“The majority of my clientele are now working from home,” said Bainton, who has retained one full-time employee and laid off several part-time workers.

Still, The Poké Beach has loyal customers, some with food allergies, others that like fresh seafood.

“My regulars have been an absolute godsend,” said Bainton. “They’re why the lights are still on.”

Because The Poké Beach serves raw fish, Bainton said new procedures for handling food have not been a big change.

Carson City Health and Human Services put out guidance for restaurants soon after March 17 when Gov. Sisolak ordered the shutdown of non-essential business and the move to takeout only for the state’s restaurants.

Restaurants all report increased cleaning and sanitizing and constant glove use as well as limiting the employees who interact with customers. The Union staff who work with customer wear gloves and masks, and Roundtable Pizza is awaiting a shipment of masks, a new policy from corporate headquarters.

Last week, at the Board of Supervisors meeting, Nicki Aaker, CCHHS director, said the department is in contact with 246 food establishments in Carson City and Douglas County while 104 others have closed for now.

The Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority and the Chamber of Commerce have been promoting takeout. Both have a list of open restaurants at their web sites, and the Chamber promotes a program encouraging takeout on Tuesdays.

The Chamber has partnered with the National Restaurant Association to promote locals to patronize the restaurants.


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