SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — After Tony’s Delicatessen was damaged nearly a year ago in the wake of protests against the death of George Floyd, owner Elias Silhi closed the popular deli that had been operating for nearly three decades.
But this week after extensive renovations, Tony’s opened again.
“So, June 1st my place was completely destroyed,” Silhi said. ”With my employees being next to me arm-to-arm working together as a team, we succeeded to have this date to open up.”
It was a chance to see his regulars and a feeling he says is reminiscent of pre-pandemic business.
“With God’s help I think, so I see it. I am very positive about it. It will get back to normal — maybe not 100% maybe in the 90s,” Silhi said.
A recent report by a company called Zenreach says that the restaurant industry in the Sacramento area has seen an increase in foot traffic of nearly 70% since the beginning of the year.
“Things are slowly getting better. Certainly not back to normal, no, no,” said Takumi Abe, co-owner of Kodaiko Ramen and Bar.
Kodaiko, located on K Street just feet from the Golden 1 Center, lost about 70% of its business when pandemic rules did not allow people to eats inside.
Abe’s restaurant is underground and focuses on food and its dining atmosphere.
“It’s just so nice to see people eating the food that you make for them,” Abe said.
Even with customers eating inside and drinking at the bar, Abe says many would-be customers are still working from home, which is foot traffic he needs.
“All of the state workers who worked all over this area, they are gone. If the workforce is not in this area, I don’t see — I don’t see it ever getting back to normal to what it was before,” Abe said.