Reopening offers light at the end of the tunnel for restaurant owners, workers

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Cirella’s Italian Bistro and Sushi Bar (WINK News)

Come Monday, restaurant owners hope you’ll be back in their seats. The owner at Cirella’s says it’s been tough. He furloughed nearly 60 employees, but now he’s calling many of them to come back.

“It won’t be full time, but it will be better than nothing,” said Lindsay McTaggart. She, her husband Brandon and their son Logan look forward to working again, even if it’s part-time.

Logan turns nine on Monday and that’s when his mother will go back to work.

“It was difficult, it was. And with school on top of it, it made it even more difficult,” she said.

Without her job at Cirella’s Italian Bistro and Sushi Bar in Naples, Lindsay filed for unemployment. But like many others in similar situations, getting the money has been a struggle.

”You get approved for $100 a week. What is that going to do for you? Especially in season time when we are used to making two to 300 dollars per night, let’s say…it’s been hard,” she said.

“Most of my employees in Bonita have been with me for 15 years, out here, almost two years here, a lot of them have been here since the beginning,” said owner Micheael Cirella.

Those workers, he says, he had to furlough and had to let some go for good.

“I wish I could take them all back, but it’s going to be tight, it’s going to be tough we can only do 25%,” he said.

Still, it’s a light in the darkness for this empty restaurant and for others lucky to return to work when more businesses open Monday.

”It will take some time but well come back better and stronger,” he said.

Cirella says nearly 25 workers will come back but that doesn’t mean full time.

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