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Monday, October 4, 2021

Winking Lizard Announces that its Gateway Location Will Not Reopen

Posted By on Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 10:24 AM

Winking Lizard announced that it has permanently closed its Gateway location. - WINKING LIZARD
  • Winking Lizard
  • Winking Lizard announced that it has permanently closed its Gateway location.

John Lane and his partners at Winking Lizard announced back in August that the Gateway location would be shutting down for an undisclosed period of time. Citing myriad pandemic-related issues, Lane added that any potential reopening would be considered after the first of the year.

Apparently, the writing on the wall is dire enough to not wait to pull the plug; in the company’s latest newsletter, buried a few paragraphs in, is the following statement:

“We did shut down the Gateway Lizard in August. Business in the area has not picked up and we will not be reopening this location. The staff has all been given positions at other locations.”

The newsletter goes on to provide a little more insight into the struggles that Winking Lizard – and pretty much every bar and restaurant around – is facing when it comes to hiring.

“The staffing shortage is real. We are getting lots of applications but fewer than 10% show up for interviews. We have a fast track hiring process. The challenge after hiring is getting new employees to show up.”

The staffing issues are just the tip of the iceberg. Downtown businesses are still dealing with a lack of urban commuters, on whom they rely for lunch and happy hour business. And then there are the food shortages, supply chain issues and soaring prices, which the newsletter also addresses.

“This summer we've faced shortages on chopped spinach, wings, hot bacon dressing, silverware, beverage glasses, tequila, bottled beer (thankfully plenty of cans and draft), soufflé cups, and bourbon barrel sauce to name a few. The prices of wings, fryer oil, food gloves, chicken breast, lobster tails, clams, most meats and produce are substantially higher. Some prices have risen 300-400% over pre-covid costs.”

Issues like these continue to slow any recovery that bars and restaurants had hoped to enjoy in a “post-pandemic” world.

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