Sacramento restaurant owner works to adapt to new COVID-19 restrictions ahead of winter

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Marcos Murillo has been a chef at Tapa the World in midtown Sacramento for more than two decades.

Murillo took over as owner in the beginning of 2020.

“We had about six weeks of ownership before COVID hit,” his wife, Brooke Murillo, told FOX40. “It seems like it’s one thing after another all year.”

The Murillos spent the past eight months rolling with the punches.

First, they shut down and then shifted service to takeout only. Then they went from welcoming customers outside, then inside and then outside again.

“The back and forth is getting really hard. It’s getting challenging, it’s getting costly. It’s getting exhausting emotionally, physically, mentally, everything,” Brooke Murillo explained.

With temperatures dropping and Sacramento County back in the state’s purple tier, Marcos Murillo is adapting once again to keep his doors open.

He closed down for a day Tuesday to do work of a different kind and winterize his front patio to make customers comfortable dining outside, rain or shine. 

“We decided that we were going to close today so we can try and cover the front patio,” Brooke Murillo explained. “Our intention was to get that done before it started raining but we had some hiccups along the way. And my husband is a little stubborn and he is very determined.”

But she pointed out wearing the different hats of owner, chef and now handyman has been a grueling juggling act for her husband.

“The fact that he can do some of it himself has been extremely helpful, but he also doesn’t even get a day off and it starts to wear on you. It just becomes emotionally kind defeating after time, after time,” she said.

But the Murillos were staying hopeful that their dedication and sacrifice will keep guests warm and dry through the winter months and their hard-earned business running for the long haul.

“We’ve gone this far so we’re just going to keep going,” Brooke Murillo said.

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