LONGMONT — The Longmont Tangerine restaurant closed effective Sunday, June 28, in an effort to shore up company operations in the face of lackluster sales.
Tangerine restaurants in Boulder and Lafayette will remain open.
“Sales have been so low, and our PPP has run out,” owner Alec Schuler said in reference to the Paycheck Protection Program that is part of the federal CARES Act. “I need to refocus on Boulder and Lafayette and cut the one that’s bleeding the most.”
Schuler said it is his intention to reopen the Longmont restaurant at 379 Main St. when conditions permit. “I own that building,” he said, in reference to wanting to re-establish operations in that location when he can. “If sales go back to near normal at the other locations, we’ll reopen Longmont,” he said.
“We floated [through April and May] due to PPP money. Now it’s gone,” he said. Schuler said he paid workers when they were on furlough and restaurants were closed as the PPP program intended. Then the rules changed in a way that would have given him more time to recover.
“We need to put out a plea to customers about how serious this is,” he said, and encourage those inclined to support restaurants to patronize when they can.
Schuler said part of his calculation includes the limited seating that is required by state and local regulations. He installed “office cubicles” in all three restaurants so that patrons have private seating areas once they arrive at their tables. “No one has said anything negative,” he said.
He said most customers are abiding by requirements that they wear masks when entering the restaurants, although the occasional “outlier” makes it difficult for members of the wait staff who do not have the ability to change the rules.
The restaurants also offer takeout for those customers who aren’t ready to return to in-person dining. Takeout helps but it doesn’t replace revenue lost from limitations on seating, he said.
Tangerine is the trade name for Rain Inc.