Popular Milwaukee restaurant reopens during pandemic after taking major financial hit

NOW: Popular Milwaukee restaurant reopens during pandemic after taking major financial hit

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)--The Pasta Tree Restaurant & Wine Bar sits at the intersection of Curtis and Farwell. It's a popular anniversary and proposal spot. The owner says before the pandemic, it was running like a well-oiled machine.

“We were doing wonderful," Suzzette Metcalfe said. 

Metcalfe shut down the business in March, pivoting to deliveries and to-go boxes.

“We were doing so well and it took a little bit of the fear out of me."

Seven months in, things took a drastic turn.

“The business has gotten smaller and smaller."

Metcalfe says she was forced to reopen indoor dining because her bank account was running on empty.

“I ran it out as long as we could, we needed to open, the funds just aren’t there," Metcalfe said.

As of Oct. 15, Metcalfe is back in business.

“It’s been heartbreaking for me not to serve the community."

“It’s heartwarming to hear that there’s going to be another restaurant that is reopening its doors and rejoining the world of dining in,"  Kristine Hillmer said. She is the CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

Hillmer says it’s great Metcalfe is moving in that direction because she says restaurant businesses have taken it hard during the pandemic.

“There are many operations that are in the fight of their economic lives and really trying to do anything to preserve their business," Hillmer said. “Restaurants have been going above and beyond to help make sure not only their staff are safe and their customers."

Metcalfe is on that list, she says she is making sure her business is sanitized.

“I think we all need to take this really seriously.”

Hillmer also says if you are not comfortable with the rules of any restaurant, it’s best that you do not go in because the goal is to protect you.

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