LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- One week from Tuesday, Vegas will go back to 100% capacity and this Memorial Day weekend, you can expect bars and restaurants to be packed.

While they are happy to welcome back more customers, many local businesses face lingering pandemic challenges including a labor shortage and shortage of some food and beverage products. 

“We are working super, super hard right now to get ready for Memorial Day and opening 100%. We are super excited,” Mathar Phillips, Manager of Casa Don Juan in the Arts District, said.

Virus Ourtbreak Nevada

Alanna McDonnell mixes drinks at Velveteen Rabbit, a cocktail bar in the Las Vegas Arts District, on the last night before they had to close on Friday, July 10, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

They are hiring as fast as they can and happy to interview anyone who walks through the door. 

“We are hiring right now, every single position from kitchen managers, front of the house managers, bartenders, food runners, when I say every single position, it is every single position you can think in the restaurant business,” Phillips asserted.  

“For us, we noticed the change back in February right around the Super Bowl and every weekend since then it has been steadily getting busier and busier and busier,” said Liam Dwyer with 7th and Carson.

Restaurants like 7th and Carson said not only are they increasing their staffing levels, they are expanding hours of operation to meet the rapidly growing demand. 

“Over the course of the last year, we’ve had to modify our business. We have different hours of operation. We focus more now on brunch... So, we have made some changes to our platform that have helped us stay alive,” Dwyer explained.  

Derek Stonebarger, owner or ReBAR and Davy’s said the businesses are busier than they have ever been.

“The Arts District has been on fire... Even at 50% occupancy… all the businesses in the area have been thriving,” Stonebarger contended.

More customers mean bars and restaurants need to stock more food and drinks but some products are in short supply because of the pandemic.

“It’s been a lot of the imported products, imported beers, imported alcohols... Any frozen products we may buy more than we normally would because you might go in the next week and they are gone, and they are gone for a month,” Stonebarger stated.

Like ReBAR, Casa Don Juan and 7th and Carson have also seen supply shortages but have adjusted by changing the menu or offering alternatives. While the pandemic problems of labor and product supply continue, business owners think like the pandemic, they will eventually go away and the best is yet to come.

“I believe that this summer will be busier Downtown than it has been in the four previous summers that I have been here,” Dwyer predicted.


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