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Some St. Louis restaurants, which cut hours amid pandemic, eye late-night return

Some restaurant owners are attempting to expand their hours to back to pre-pandemic levels.
Hannah Hickman cleans Olio at closing time. The restaurant's owner, Ben Poremba, plans to test out later closing times.

ST. LOUIS — When Ben Poremba first opened Bar Moro last October, he kept it closed on Sunday and Monday. 

That has become the new normal for local restaurants, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Restaurants, across St. Louis and nationwide, cut operating hours or full days from their schedules either for staffing concerns, to mitigate increased costs, or just because the consumer demand wasn't there.

But in June, Poremba launched an experiment with Bar Moro. He decided to test the waters and keep the Spanish- and Mediterranean-inspired bar and restaurant, located at 7610 Wydown Blvd. in Clayton, open seven days a week, in an effort to see whether customers will find their way back on the days he was previously closed.

It's too early to tell whether it's working, but he's remaining optimistic.

“Is it paying off right now? Not fully,” said Poremba, a three-time James Beard Awards semi-finalist. “We still have some slow Mondays, where I have five to seven people working, and I’m not getting enough revenue to justify having the restaurant open. But I’m trying to build it up, so I’m patient and resilient.”

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.

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