West Valley restaurants tell of closures

COVID-19 starting to take its toll

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The cornonavirus is beginning to take its toll on some businesses that faced restrictions in light of the illness.

Owners of two West Valley restaurants announced they would close their doors permanently. Rosie’s Italian Cafe, 13930 W. Camino del Sol, Sun City West will close its doors at the end of the month. In addition, Sweet Tomatoes, 7565 W. Bell Road, Peoria will also cease operation.

“Today’s post is not your regular post. It’s one that that has taken me days to write,” stated Rose Raveen Gentry, owner, on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “They tell you to rip off the band aid, but this one will sting a lot.”

The uncertainty of the pandemic forced Ms. Gentry and her husband, Tom, to make the decision in the past few weeks.

“This was not a decision that was taken lightly. My husband and I have been discussing the options for months,” Ms. Gentry stated. “Our final decision was made in the last few weeks when restrictions were put on products and now restrictions are being put on meats.”

She added they may have taken a different path if the future was more certain.

“If we knew that this COVID will disappear is one story, but if it returns and gets worse, after we sign a new lease, we will loose everything,” she stated.

The restaurant has been open for nearly 23 years.

While Arizona restaurants are now allowed to reopen for dine-in service, with restrictions, the Gentrys will continue through the month to offer only take out service. Ms. Gentry stated even if they were to stay open past the end of the month, dine-in would still not be available until there were no restrictions.

Sweet Tomatoes is part of a national chain, which also includes restaurants called Souplantations, and officials announced on their website they will close all 97 locations nationwide. The restaurants were buffet-style establishments and were forced to close when state officials restricted restaurants to take out, drive-thru or delivery only service.

“As you may have heard, we are unable to reopen our 97 Souplantaion and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” officials stated on the company website.

Sweet Tomatoes company officials could not be reached by press time for comment.

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