Scott Shaw equates the COVID-19 experience to a Greek tragedy with a beginning, middle and end. Right now, he says, we’re in the middle and looking forward to the third act — a period of eventual recovery.
Shaw, a partner with Alexandria Restaurant Partners, says that his company is similar to a lot of other restaurant companies looking at an uncertain winter on the horizon.
“The first act was reacting, getting through the summer, figuring out what your new business model looks like,” Shaw told ALXnow. “The second act is about getting through the winter, and then the third act will be recovering. The third act, let’s call it next March through next July, with the prospect of a vaccine on-hand, we can begin to return to normalcy and get back on track.”
Shaw and his staff have rehired 300 of the 500 employees the company had before the pandemic hit the city. ARP owns Mia’s Italian Kitchen, Vola’s Dockside Grill, Riverside Taco Company, Joe Theismann’s Restaurant, Palette 22 and The Majestic. The company is currently looking to buy the former Charlie’s on the Avenue in Del Ray, and at Robinson Landing plans to open Ada’s On The River in January and BARCA Wine Bar and Pier in April.
ARP also recently installed air purification technology in all its restaurants. The Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization technology “virtually eliminates static COVID-19… achieving a 99.4% reduction within 30 minutes,” according to a company press release.
“We’re sort of navigating our way through the crisis,” Shaw said. “We’ve been careful with our money to make sure we have enough acorns for the winter.”