CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Lockkeepers, in Valley View, has set its reopening date for Oct. 5.
Closed since March, it’s now undergoing a massive restoration and renovation.
“Overall it’s been awful, full of anxiety and worry. Though I’ve been happy to keep my hands moving and have employment, it’s all very unnerving. We’re so excited to open, no question. But it’s going to be very challenging. Restaurants were already tough,” said Brian Woehrman, the general manager at Lockkeepers.
Today and Monday they’re holding a job fair so they can put up to 50 people back to work.
“We’ve been doing a pretty formal survey in trying to understand the market best we could. And by in large, everyone is getting killed and losing a lot of money. But there are some positive indicators and some positive outliers, restaurants that are doing well. We think if we run this right, we can break even, or profit and get back in to our business,” Woehrman said.
While downtown continues to stay quiet without events, sports, business, or business travel, Malisse Sinito, of Millennia, said they have no base of customers.
“Opening without a base of business that can keep a staff occupied full time didn’t seem like the prudent thing to do. It didn’t seem prudent to bring employees back to something that you couldn’t guarantee a full time schedule on,” she said.
Sinito said opening could actually make things even worse.
“I know what my losses are when I am closed. I know what the number is at the end of the month. If I open I don’t know where that goes. It could put us in a situation where we would have to close permanently perhaps,”
But that, she said, will not happen.
“You’re not going to see them permanently closed, I can tell you that. They’ll be solidly wrapped in bubble wrap before that will ever happen,” Sinito said.
When the pair of downtown properties do reopen, they will hire or bring back a total of roughly 100 staff members.
“Cleveland is poised to come back better and stronger than other cities where people are leaving because of the high cost of living. So I’m optimistic that we’ll get through this,” she said.