Ever since the Coivd-19 pandemic wreaked havoc across the world, numerous restaurants in the country succumbed to its wrath. Those which somehow managed to sail through the first wave, were left dilapidated by the second. And now, with the third wave looming over us, there is no option for many restaurateurs but to shut shop.
Moreover, the incessant lockdowns have ensured that the losses continue to scar them. In Bengaluru, the curfews imposed due to the pandemic has hit Tao Terraces hard.
The restaurant, a favourite among many, downed its shutters on Saturday. Its owner, Naren Beliappa, wrote an emotional post that said repeated closures, exorbitant rentals and government apathy have left him with no option but to close for now.
Beliappa wrote: “Your favourite music destination, the Tao Terraces, is closing today. Our biggest challenge has been high rentals and the fact that we are the first ones to be closed every time restrictions are announced and last to be re-opened. When we closed our doors temporarily in March last year, none of us imagined then that Covid would still be prevalent 21 months later. But we kept our hopes high even in the face of an impossible situation because we love what we do so much..presenting the best music to the best crowd in the world!”
He added: “It has become unviable and unsustainable. How do we pay Excise duty, run our business and pay our staff in the face of repeated closures?”
The New Indian Express reported that the head of Bengaluru chapter of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) and co-founder of popular microbrewery Toit, Mukesh Tolani, had approached the Excise Department with a request to relax the night curfew till 11.30 pm instead of 10 pm on weekdays.
“We have lost a major chunk of business due to the pandemic. Our weekday business is minimal because of the lack of IT crowd. Night curfew from 10pm, and now the weekend curfew has dealt a body blow to restaurants, pubs and bars. Forget business, our survival and that of our staff is at stake,” he said.
He added that their efforts to meet the Chief Minister and Excise Commissioner to discuss the same never materialized.