Local establishments like 42nd Street Oyster Bar starting to hire new staff as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been a difficult year for many in the hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, bars and hotels. They were forced to close in March and uncertain what the future would hold. The easing restrictions in our state are providing hope and help.

What started as a grocery store 90 years ago, the 42nd Street Oyster Bar, remains a popular Raleigh restaurant. Still being closed for two months wasn’t easy. They had to furlough their 90 plus employees. The Paycheck Protection Program helped.

“We kept as many people on as wanted to come back and just not as many shifts,” Ryan Tyson, the Wine, and Beverage Manager said.

Tyson said capacity is still an issue, but they worked around it.

“It was a slow start, now the last month or so business has really picked up,” he explained.

Enough so that Tyson said they’re looking to hire another 10 servers. That would bring them to where they were pre-pandemic.

“I’m very thankful that we’re in that position,” Tyson said.

“We opened our hotel March 20 and wound-up closing on March 24,” Todd Buchko, the General Manager of Origin Raleigh said.

It was a big blow to Raleigh’s first boutique hotel. It’s a new hotel in a new building on West Morgan Street.

They reopened on June 1. Buchko admits it’s been slow. But he said the easing restrictions – lifting the curfew and the ability to serve alcohol until 11 p.m. – gives him hope.

“It’s night and day. It really is. That two extra hours that we get has definitely increased our revenues,” he said.

He estimates the change led to $2,000 increase in sales over this past weekend.

“We are starting to hire, so we’re hiring servers, bartenders, and cooks in the kitchen,” Buchko said.

At first, managers were the only ones working, now they have 15 employees. Ultimately, they plan to double that.

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