Local Restaurants and COVID-19: Joe’s Pizza

In this installment of our daily Q&A this week with a local restaurant owner dealing with restrictions during the COVID-19 emergency, we hear from Lorenzo Colella of Joe’s Pizza on Locust Avenue. Here’s our exchange. 

New Canaanite: What has this past week been like for you? 

It’s been pretty hectic. The new system of doing everything works well when they can’t come in but it takes planning. I had to hire two new kids, a high school kid and college kid. It’s just the logistics of it all when it’s busy.

Local Restaurants and COVID-19: Club Sandwich

Downtown New Canaan mainstay Club Sandwich is open for pickup 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For today’s Q&A, we hear from owner Leo Gaspar about how the Cherry Street deli is managing through the COVID-19 emergency and related changes. Here’s our exchange. 

New Canaanite: What has this past week been like for you? Leo Gaspar: It was a really busy week trying to navigate all the information we were receiving from the government. Our Health Department has been great as always.

Local Restaurants and COVID-19: South End

For this installment of our daily Q&A with a restaurant owner navigating the COVID-19 emergency, we hear from Nick Martschenko, chef-owner of South End and SE Uncorked. South End is open 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 12 to 8 p.m. Saturday. (SE Uncorked’s building is closed and the business is operating out of South End on Pine Street.)

We note here that Martschenko created a relief fund to help South End and SE Uncorked employees affected by layoffs. “These funds will be used to help those at SE & UC who will face significant hardship in the weeks and maybe months to come,” he said on a GoFundMe page that is hosting the fundraiser. 

Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: What has this past week been like for you? 

Nick Martschenko: This week has been a mystery basket filled with many emotions.

Local Restaurants and COVID-19: Elm

In this Q&A with a local restaurateur, we hear from chef Luke Venner of elm restaurant downtown about how the highly touted eatery is coping with restrictions following the COVID-19 emergency. New Canaanite: What has this past week been like for you? 

Chef Luke Venner: Very challenging to say the least. We had to completely change our business model and systems within 24 hours and reassure a nervous staff that we were devising a solution to keep them employed. We also started keeping a body temperature log of everyone that enters the building and a shuttle service to keep our employees away from public transportation. How is you faring business-wise?

Local Restaurants and COVID-19: Cherry Street East

[Editor’s Note: This week, we will feature a daily Q&A with a local food service establishment working to remain open and operating under health and public safety restrictions due to the COVID-19 emergency.]

We start with one of New Canaan’s best-loved eateries, Cherry Street East. Here’s our exchange with Mary Bianco Bergin, a 1993 New Canaan High School graduate who owns the popular restaurant with her husband, John Bergin. Cherry Street is open 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday for pickup. New Canaanite: What has this past week been like for you? 

Mary Bianco: It has been very stressful and emotionally exhausting. Worrying about our staff and community plus our personal family, this is something you are never prepared for.  We are trying to our best to band together and help each other out and stay positive.