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Eateries persevere with creativity

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Lorenzo’s Italian Restaurant is one of many local restaurants offering takeout and curbside service, as well as delivery.
Though state orders due to the coronavirus have shut down dine-in eating at New Mexico restaurants, pickup service is still allowed, and Vince Vacarro of Lorenzo’s said he’s glad.
“We want to help people have some normalcy with the distractions of this unseen force,” Vacarro said. “The other thing I’m really concerned about is our employees, making sure they can make their rent payments and living expenses. I’m responsible for 30 people in the community.”
He said Lorenzo’s is also taking donations, so his restaurant can deliver to assisted living centers and other shut-ins.
Marci Dickerson, owner of the Game and Game II restaurants, said her primary focus is her employees.
“We’re helping them with groceries and their rent,” Dickerson said. “We’ve got 140 employees, and only 52 have been laid off. But they all know their job is waiting for them when things calm down. We’re hoping that is sooner rather than later. The restaurant industry will not be able to stay intact if we go through more than a month of this.”
In the meantime, both of her restaurants are offering takeout, as well as free meals for children who have been “sponsored by many, many donations from the community.” If the sponsorships subside, she said, the restaurants will keep the kids’ meals priced at $2.
Dickerson’s philanthropic organization, Revolution 120, received an anonymous donation to create a grant program to help servers and food-service workers who have been laid off to pay their utilities.
“A lot of people are out of work right now,” Dickerson said. “It’s important for us all to work together.”
While some restaurants have suspended operations, many remain operational. Call your favorite restaurant to check its status.

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