PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Roughly 1,200 Arizona restaurants have closed during the pandemic, but they are making a comeback in downtown Phoenix. More than 20 restaurants are set to open soon. Downtown Phoenix Inc. said by the summer, there will actually be more restaurants open in the area than before the pandemic. Wyndi and Roshiem Austin opened up Tap That Downtown around Christmas. "It was definitely a risk and it was scary," Roshiem said about opening up the restaurant during the pandemic.
Roshiem and Wyndi aren't surprised that there's a big increase in restaurants opening up. "After the last year, most people are ready to get back to some normalcy and that includes business and trade," said Roshiem.
The couple said business is steady and is picking up as more people get out. "Every week, it just increases. Obviously, it helps that we are reaching better plateaus in terms of the COVID numbers," Wyndi said. "We followed our dream. We didn't pivot from the end result that was bringing a really cool craft beer and wine venue to downtown Phoenix."
Il Bosco Pizza also recently opened its doors. Owner Jeff Carlberg said opening in the middle of a pandemic is a challenge, but business is going well. "We've been seeing the business grow each day, actually. And we are getting into the summer, and it's going to be a trying time, I'm sure. Now that everybody might be traveling, we are going to look to maintain our enthusiasm and the buzz," said Carlberg.
He hopes this is just the start. "I think we are going to be here for a long, long time. That's our goal. We want to me into this area, we want the young adults to live down here, and there's a bunch of ages. We want the young adults to have kids and come here," said Carlberg.