Luciano’s of Chicago restaurant announced yesterday that the economic situation in the country amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown has forced the restaurant to close its doors for good, leading to the layoff of 72 people.
Luciano’s landlords, the Symonette family, will soon put the property up for rent and have already received “serious inquires”, Brent Symonette told Guardian Business.
A statement from the restaurant – which has been in operation on Nassau’s harbor for almost 16 years – explained that the uncertainty of the country’s economic direction throughout the coming months has led its management to determine that it is unable to continue operating.
“Luciano’s restaurant today announced that, after more than a decade serving the Bahamian community and visitors, the restaurant will be permanently closing its doors,” the statement noted.
“Due to the current economic climate, the restaurant’s reliance on the tourist market and the economic uncertainty in the coming months, it is unable to continue as a viable business.”
The statement added that the restaurant had been “struggling to make ends meet for the last couple of years”, but COVID-19 pushed it to the end of its reserves.
“Despite increased competition in the industry and a shift in the customer base, Luciano’s management had remained committed to its staff despite mounting losses each month,” said Luciano’s.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 was the final nail in the coffin, leaving no choice but to close and make its team redundant.”
The statement explained that the restaurant industry operates on slim margins and that owners and management “exhausted every avenue to keep the restaurant open and to keep the team employed”.
“Nobody could have predicted the effects from COVID-19 on the economy and sadly, the fallout has necessitated the permanent closure of the restaurant,” the statement continued.
Symonette said Luciano’s owner George Myers approached him to let him know that the restaurant was going out of business.
“George Myers came to see me. He said he was closing. George and I have been friends for many, many years,” said Symonette.
“He explained his reasons why and they are in the process of moving out, we will be putting it up for rent in short order. We’ve already had some serious inquiries.”