SALT LAKE CITY — The Green Pig Pub has been a staple in downtown Salt Lake City for more than a decade.
But like many other restaurants, COVID-19 has had a major impact on the bar. Sales are down about forty percent, owner Bridget Gordon said.
In the past few weeks, Gordon decided she was going to try to get creative.
“We were operating with nine tables and couldn’t pay the bills on nine tables. The employees couldn’t pay their bills with nine tables,” she said.
Gordon said she began looking at what other states were doing and researched some advice from the National Restaurant Association on different ways to safely expand dining.
“We just implemented partitions between the tables. Plexiglass partitions that are 4 by 5 and so giving plenty of protection between each table,” she said.
While still following COVID-19 guidelines, and state guidelines, Gordon said she has safely been able to add eight more tables to her restaurant while keeping the capacity under 50 percent.
“It makes a difference where I’m going to have a thousand-dollar night or 2,000-dollar night,” she said.
As the cold winter months inch closer, Gordon said she knew she had to find a way to add more tables when the rooftop patio has to close.
“I had to come up with a different way of doing something,” she said.
Throughout COVID-19, Gordon said she hasn’t had to lay off any employees, but it’s still been very rough. The way the service industry has changed has been jarring, Green Pig barback Dominic Burbank said.
“At first, we never thought the service industry was something that could go down — we always thought it was going to be, you know, regardless of what happens, people are going to want to drink, they are going to want to eat — and then that wasn’t the case,” he said.
The smaller crowds and additional restrictions have made working in the service industry tough, Burbank said.
“It’s been really tough. Not a lot of us are making the same income we were making before,” he said.
The additional tables added due to the new plexiglass barriers have made a difference financially already, Gordon and Burbank said.
The Green Pig Pub also does temperature checks at the door, requires face masks and has implemented intensive sanitizing and extra cleaning protocols.