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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As people head out for New Year’s Eve Friday night, COVID-19 has forced another area restaurant to close and because of that, owners are banding together.

“It is really tough because of COVID,” Pirate’s and Bone restaurant owner Jasmine Thompson said Friday.

Thompson knows first hand what it’s like to be impacted by the coronavirus.

“We had to close down our restaurant for a month last year,” she said. “We had to pivot our business model to do a lot of takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery, and that’s an extra cost that we did not budget, because we do have to contract out with third party delivery drivers, and that’s a very expensive cost for us.”

In a Facebook post Thursday, Dec. 30, Soiree Steak & Oyster House owner Anita Moore said “We have had several staff members out sick with either COVID or other COVID/ flu related sickness.”

“We’ve not seen it in restaurants in Kansas City,” Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association Executive Director Bill Teel said Friday when asked if he thinks the omicron variant has affected a whole lot of businesses.

Teel’s group just had their monthly meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14.

“No one mentioned anything about omicron or mentioned that it was affecting their business negatively for New Years.”

COVID in general has impacted restaurants of course, but finding out whether it’s the omicron variant or the delta variant that workers are getting is difficult.

“I can feel for all the restaurant owners here in Kansas City because that’s something we can’t control,” Thompson said. “It’s a global pandemic, and we just have to take it one day at a time.”

Moore did not respond for comment Thursday. If you bought tickets at Soiree Steak & Oyster House though, Moore’s Facebook post said she will issue refunds. She plans to reopen the restaurant on Tuesday.

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