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Restaurant owners find unique ways to stay open during COVID-19

Joey Ferran, head chef at Cucina Wine Bar in Salt Lake City, stands outside the restaurant. With COVID-19 restrictions, the restaurant has gotten creative to make it through these tough times--like using social media to promote their elegant take home dishes. Ferran says the community has also continued to support them. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY – Cucina Wine Bar is one of the most popular restaurants in Salt Lake City. As dine-in services have been shut down across the state to help slow the spread of COVID-19, restaurant owners have had to come up with unique ways to stay open.

Joey Ferran, who works as the head chef at Cucina, says indoor dining has been temporarily shut down.

“Our restaurant has always had a couple of different heads to it being a neighborhood deli during the day and then a wine bar at night. So when people were no longer allowed to gather or sit down [inside the restaurant], it hit our revenue pretty hard,” Ferran said.

Ferran says keeping their customers safe from COVID-19 is important. That’s why they’ve found unique ways to continue serving them.

“We worry about not just keeping our business going but keeping everybody safe, keeping our staff safe,” Ferran said.

Keeping the restaurant doors open

So how is Cucina Wine Bar keeping their restaurant doors open?

Ferran created a way to take the restaurant to your home.

“We developed a pasta kit, which has received a lot of attention. We roll our pasta and we dry it here, and then we provide a sauce and all the ingredients to go with it. Then, [we have] an instruction sheet that you follow step-by-step so you can create this gourmet pasta dish that you could find here, but at home,” Ferran said.

All this was not a simple task.

“A lot of what we do is to prepare food to look beautiful and to be hot and to be ready for you to eat right then. But a lot of that stuff won’t carry very well. So, we had to break it down and provide instructions so the home cook could put it together,” Ferran said.

That attention to detail has been noticed on social media. The restaurant has created beautiful posts, as well as humorous ones, to remind people in the community that they are open for business.

Despite the hit the restaurant has taken because of COVID-19, Ferran is grateful for the community support.

“Our neighbors come in and purchase whatever we’re promoting. They know how important it is during times like these to keep us going and to keep revenue flowing and to keep businesses going. We’re really lucky. Our neighborhood has been super supportive,” Ferran said.