There is nothing quite like strolling down Main Avenue in downtown Durango on a beautiful evening trying to decide what one of the many delicious restaurants you want to dine at. Before COVID-19 hit and along came shut downs throughout the country, Durango held a unique title many do not know about. Durango had more restaurants per capita than San Francisco, granted Durango is much smaller, but the number of over 140 restaurants to a population of 17,000 is quite impressive.
Durango may be in jeopardy of losing that title with many restaurants struggling to get back on their feet after the last round of shut downs. Some of the Durango staples have had to close their doors such as The Palace, the Irish Embassy Pub, Eno Wine Bar, the Red Snapper and others has been a shock to the community. These business owners have been members of the community for years and for some this is a devastating blow. Dave Woodruff the president of the Durango chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association stated in a recent interview with the Durango Herald, “It’s a tragedy because these are people in our community. They’re contributing to our community via employing people paying their taxes, nourishing the community. When you start compounding that by five or six or seven restaurants, you’re talking about a lot of people who are no longer getting a paycheck.”
So what’s the good news? Durango restaurants have reopened at 25% capacity, while it’s not much it is better than nothing. If locals can go support their favorite go-to restaurant now is the time to do it, take-out orders and gift cards are a great option right now as well. Many restaurant owners are hopeful with the development of the COVID-19 vaccine and look forward to the day of being able to operate at full capacity.