COVID May Force Another Utica Area Restaurant to Close for Good
The coronavirus pandemic is playing havoc on local restaurants and another may have to shut down for good in Central New York.
Bannock's Restaurant and Catering opened on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford in December 2020. Less than a year later, the restaurant may have to close its doors.
Brian Bdot Payton and Joseph Hill are the chefs behind the scenes who have been creating amazing food for decades. "Times have been hard for us and we have gotten into a hole we have been trying to climb out of," said Payton. "We have until the end of the month to come up with the funding we need to keep the doors open."
Payton and Hill aren't giving up. "We have put our all into this place, working countless 16 to 18 hour days," Payton said. "It’s been our dream forever and it will kill us to have to throw it all away after putting everything we had into this place."
A GoFundMe campaign was started by Joseph's wife, Stephani Hill to help the chefs keep their dream. "Even if we can get 10,000 people to donate a dollar it will save us and give us a little more time to build," said Hill.
The Franklin Lunch & Grill in Syracuse, founded in 1962, closed and was put up for sale. Shifty’s Bar & Grill on Burnet Avenue in Syracuse shut down on December 31. Village Burger in Liverpool also closed permanently in December.
Things didn't get much better in 2021. Businesses have reduced hours, closed dining rooms, gone to drive-thru only service, or shut doors for good, including Raspberries that closed the South Utica location in July.
It's not just in Central New York either. Business owners all across the state are calling it quits.